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Group Members

GabrieleDr. Gabriele Kaminski Schierle is a trained biologist and has a PhD in Medicine from Lund University, Sweden. Her interest is in understanding protein misfolding associated with neurodegenerative diseases at a molecular level within a cellular environment. In order to achieve the molecular level understanding of protein misfolding in cells she applies superresolution imaging methods as developed in the Laser Analytics Group.


Claire_MichelDr. Claire Michel has been in the group for 5 years, has a background in Neurosciences, expertise in neuronal, C. elegans, and Drosophila cultures, and applies several of the group's advanced microscopes for her research. She leads the study of the propagation of Tau from cell to cell and regularly participates in other research projects carried out with collaborators.


Nadya_NespovitayaDr Nadya Nespovitaya joined the group in 2014. Initially, she was trained as a biochemist and during her PhD at ETH Zurich studying reversible functional aggregation of neuropeptides and hormones she became interested in physical chemistry and biophysics of protein aggregation. In the group, Nadya works on mechanisms of amyloid templating by means of dSTORM and STED/AFM correlated microscopy. 


Janin_LautenschlagerDr. Janin Lautenschläger joined the group 2015 after finishing her PhD in Neuroscience at Jena University Hospital (Germany). She is focusing on the aggregation of α-synuclein and underlying mechanisms. The main focus of her work is to elucidate in primary dopaminergic neurons how mitochondrial dysfunction and α-synuclein aggregation are cross-linked.


Colin_HockingsDr Colin Hockings recently finished his PhD at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, studying how the Bcl-2 family of proteins regulate cell death. In the Molecular Neuroscience group, he will examine on the propagation of tau, with special attention to how glial cells are involved


Amberly_StephensDr. Amberley Stephens is a Research Assistant in the group, having completed a PhD in molecular biology. Her role includes cloning and modification of genes, construction of plasmids and purification of the recombinant proteins, amyloid-β, tau and α-synuclein. She works closely with other members of the group on various biology experiments. 



Na Yu is a third year PhD student who joined the group at 2013 funded by EPSRC. Na’s PhD research is focused on developing microfluidic devices to investigate protein aggregation in Alzheimer’s disease using super-resolution. Na is currently working with Claire on the propagation of Tau project.


Suil_CollinsSuil Collins is a second year PhD student funded by the BBSRC doctorate training partnership program. She is working on the identification and development of small molecules capable of inhibiting the aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins, in collaboration with the groups of Prof David Spring and Dr Florian Hollfelder.


Jhalique_Jane_FojasJhalique Jane Fojas is a PhD student working on developing an integrated microfluidic-nanosensor system for neuro-functional imaging and neurotransmission detection. This novel platform will be used to understand the pathological mechanism of common neurological diseases through protein misfolding and molecular transport studies.


Philippa_HooperPhilippa Hooper is a year PhD student working in collaboration with the Cambridge Graphene Centre. She develops devices with transparent graphene electrodes to combine electrophysiological measurements of neuronal activity with fluorescence imaging.


Miranda Robbins is a first year Sensor CDT PhD student with a background in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience. With MedImmune she is investigating whether tau trafficking can be inhibited, with a particular focus on synaptic mechanisms.



Samantha Beck has recently joined the Molecular Neuroscience group. Since she’s passed her Masters degree, she has worked in several public research institutions and pharmaceutical companies in France. She is in charge of cell cultures and interacts closely with team members to conduct biological experiments. 


Genevive_SimpsonGenevieve Simpson started in the group in Oct 2015 as a Master's student. She has a BSc in Neuroscience and is working with fluorescent proteins to monitor the movement of tau within primary hippocampal neurons, subsequently aiming to visualise its movement across the synapse. 



Past Members


Dr. Dorothea Pinotsi joined the group in 2012, she is a trained physicist and works at the interface between biology and physics. She pioneered the intrinsic fluorescence on amyloid proteins and on α-synuclein strain formation.



Kevin Batenburg joined the group as an MRes student from the University of Amsterdam. He further established a novel methodology to sense and sort single α-synuclein fibrils by nanopores and microfluidic techniques.