Biomedical and Life Sciences Staff
Head of Division
Dr Owen-Lynch's research is aimed at understanding the molecular mode of action of the Bcr-Abl oncogene in the development and progression of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).
She is also studying the role of cerebrospinal fluid in normal and hydrocephalic cerebrocortical development.
Dr Allinson's research concentrates on the mechanisms underlying mammalian DNA repair processes, particularly the base excision and single strand break repair pathways.
Current research projects involve characterising the role of certain DNA repair enzymes in determining repair efficiency. In collaboration with Professor Trevor McMillan she is also investigating the cellular response to UV radiation.
Professor David Allsop is interested in the pathological role of misfolded 'amyloid' proteins in a range of different human diseases, including some important neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and the transmissible prion disorders.
His research is concerned with the mechanism of formation and deposition of protein aggregates, the relationship between protein aggregation and neurodegeneration, and in novel approaches to diagnosis and therapy.
The main interest of Dr Benson's group is in the molecular mechanisms that mediate homologous recombination. Homologous recombination has an important role in facilitating cell survival following damage to DNA; defects in recombination repair mechanisms can lead to genomic instability and initiation of carcinogenesis.
Dr Broughton's research interests lie in the mechanisms of ageing using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism.
She has a particular interest in the role of the insulin/IGF-like signalling pathway in modulating lifespan and age-related functional decline.
Dr Brown's research expertise is in glycobiology, namely the study of the structure and function of molecules which contain carbohydrate moieties. His main research interest is in the structure and function of connective tissues, particularly the molecular organisation of the cornea which results in a transparency. He also has research interests in cartilage integrity (including arthritis), neurodegenerative disease (Parkinson's), cancer metastasis and the development of biosensor technologies to study molecular interactions.
Dr Clancy’s work is aimed at achieving extension of healthy lifespan. Much of this involves investigating the basic biology of ageing, which includes a search for reliable predictive biomarkers of ageing, from the behavioural to the molecular. To understand the contribution of genetics to ageing, he is using the model organism Drosophila, misexpressing potentially ageing-relevant genes during adulthood only, thus mimicking drug treatment.
Dr. Dillon's research group studys the role of Phlebotomine sand flies as transmitters of the medically important parasite Leishmania.
Dr Fullwood is a cell biologist working on various aspects of the eye, in particular the cornea. He especially interested in the development and refinement of stem cell therapies for eye disease and the development of an artificial cornea. He also carries out extensive research into the causes of eye disease.
Dr Michael Ginger is interested in the biochemistry and cell biology of metabolism in protozoa. His research combines in silico genome mining with experimental wet bench science.
Dr Lauder's research is focused on the elucidation of the structure and function of polysaccharides. He has a special interest in the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and the proteoglycans (PGs) to which they are attached, and in examining the normal age- and abnormal pathology-related changes in the structure of human GAGs in particular. Such data may provide early markers of damage and disease, especially in osteoarthritis.
The main research focus of Dr McKean's laboratory is the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei - a protozoan parasite of significant medical and veterinary importance in sub-Saharan Africa.
Current research projects are focused on providing a greater molecular understanding of the structure and function of the trypanosome flagellum - an organelle that is pivotal for trypanosome viability.
The primary focus of Professor McMillan's research is characterising the cellular response to ionising radiation and environmentally relevant wavelengths of UV light.
His work is aimed at gaining a greater understanding of the mechanistic and genetic basis of sensitivity to DNA damage in mammalian cells in relation to cancer predisposition and therapy.
Dr Edward Parkin is interested in the pathological role of proteolysis in a range of human conditions including neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), cancer, hypertension, and African sleeping sickness.
Specifically, his interests are the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein, the prion protein, angiotensin converting enzymes, ADAMs proteases, and the trypanosomal major surface protease A.
Dr Jackie Parry's research focuses on protozoan-bacterial, and viral-cyanobacterial, interactions in freshwater, both in the plankton and also within biofilms.
Current projects are evaluating the interaction between Legionella and amoebae, optimal foraging in protozoa, the biochemistry of protozoan food vacuoles and Synechococcus-temperate phage interactions.
Professor Roger Pickup works in the field of 'Environment and Human Health' and is interested in the role of non-tubercular mycobacteria in human disease and environmental routes through which humans are exposed to these bacterial pathogens.
Current research is examining the role of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in Crohn's disease, and possibly in irritable bowel syndrome, particularly with respect to diverse opportunities for environmental cycling and human exposure. In addition he has an interest in Mycobacteria immunogenum, its source, diversity and role in hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
The main interest of Dr Price's group is the control of cell division and of cytokinesis and cell separation in the model eukaryote, S. cerevisiae (budding yeast).
Current work centres on the assembly of the actomyosin contractile ring during the cell cycle. He is also interested in the relationship between cell cycle control and environmentally induced DNA damage.
Dr. Rigbys research interests lie in mechanisms of intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) renewal and repair, focusing on the role of Suppressor of Cytokine Signalling 3 in controlling IEC homeostasis.
She is currently investigating how bacterial signals may be linked to the dysregulation of IEC repair seen inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
The major research interests of Dr Roberts' group concern the regulation of ion transport across the biological membranes of plant and fungal cells.
Dr Shirras's research is aimed at gaining a greater insight into the synthesis, metabolism and function of bioactive peptides, which are important signalling and regulatory molecules, controlling many aspects of development, physiology and behaviour.
His particular focus is on the role of angiotensin-converting enzyme-like peptidases, using Drosophila as a model.
Dr Wright's research spans the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the cannabinoid system in gastrointestinal epithelium to the translational aspects of realising the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in diseases such as Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and colorectal cancer. Existing projects include intestinal barrier and permeability studies.
She is currently developing a new model of intestinal tissue culture that takes into account physiological levels of oxygen and energy sources, in partnership with GI physicians, surgeons and pathologists at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and involves patients and human volunteers.