Current group & alumni

(All portraits by Gwen)

Research group head

Marko Hyvönen

Marko tries to bring the money in and keep the group on the straight and narrow. Ventures to lab on occasions, only to be scowled at by those who actually know that they are doing. He is still allowed to repair Emulsiflex as and when needed (=too often).

Postdoctoral research associates

Paul Brear

Paul is always busy curing cancer by inhibiting CK2α, Btk and other new targets with small molecules and peptides. In between research he runs the Crystallographic core facility and coordinates our Diamond Light Source beamtime.

Caio Vinicius dos Reis

Caio works with Alborada Drug Discovery Institute (ADDI) bringing FBDD component to their efforts to find treatments for neurogenerative diseases.

Agnieszka Bogucka

Agnieszka is part of a Wellcome Trust-funded project with Morten Grøtli and Jan Boren groups from University of Göteborg, Sweden,  targeting liver pyruvate kinase for the treatment and prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Lena Quambusch

Lena uses chemical biology approaches to interrogate with TGF-ß family members mediated signaling.

One part is validating Activin A as a druggable target in a proof-of-concept study utilizing Fragment-based Drug Discovery (FBDD) to evolve small molecule inhibitors to impair signaling.

Lena is further applying chemical genetics to covalently link the Activin A dimer and assess the dependencies of the inter-protomer angle towards signalling capacity.

Attila Tököli

Attila is joining BBSRC-funded sLoLa (strategic longer and larger) project, lead by Florian Hollfelder, to discovery new plastic degrading enzymes, plastizymes. Attila will be working with people from the Hollfelder group, as well with Christine Orengo’s group at UCL and with Rob Finn’s group at EMBL-EBI

Attila will be in charge of structural characterisation of the new enzymes and studying their interactions with the substrate.

Léni Jodaitis

Léni works on an Apollo Therapeutics funded project to develop inhibitors for an exciting new cancer target. He will be applying fragment-based and structure-guided drug discovery methods to find first fragment hits and then optimise these to generate starting points for a lead development  that could eventually (fingers crossed!) progress to the clinic.

Flóra Foltanyi

Flóra works on an Bicycle Therapeutics funded project to develop new methods, largely by protein engineering, to enable clinically relevant targets to be studied by crystallography or cryo-EM, to overcome limitations imposed by the properties of those proteins.

Research Assistant

Nicola Coker Gordon

Nicola keeps the lab running and provides support to various research projects.

Postgraduate students

Emma Belcher

Emma is dealing with some pesky transmembrane receptors, taming them for structural and biophysical analyses to understand signalling mechanism better.

Gwen Pyeatt

Gwen is exploring the wonderful world of protein binding molecules to validate prevention of pro-form dissociation as a mechanism of activin A inhibition. Classes of molecules being investigated include designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), nanobodies, and de novo proteins. These binders could be put to use in the future as therapeutics for muscle atrophy disorders and fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva and/or molecular tools to study activin A signalling.

Archibald Coombs

Archie is working on an INEOS-funded PhD project in collaboration with Andres Floto’s group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and with David Spring’s group at the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry to tackle antimicrobial resistance on Mycobacterium tuberculosis.


Past Research staff, PhD students, Visitors…

Allan RoldãoVisiting PhD student, 2023-2024Lat observed: University of São Paulo
Shiv Kumar Sah TeliPostdoctoral Research Associate, 2021-2022Last Observed: Oulu, Finland
Miha RenkoPostdoctoral Research Associate, 2021-2022Last observed: Department of Pharmacology
Aleksandra KruglikovMPhil student 2021-2022Last observed: CRUK Cambridge Research Institute
Aleksei LullaPostdoctoral Research Associate 2017-2022Last observed: Luisi Group, Department of Biochemistry
Teodors PantelejevsPhD student 2017-2022Last observed: Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Riga
Matthew RatcliffPhD student 2017-2022Last observed: AstraZeneca, Cambridge
Tonia AristotelousPostdoctoral Research Associate (with Univ of Herts) 2018-2020Last observed: Harvard University
Beata BlaszczykResearch Assistant 2015-2020Last observed: At Abzena, Cambridge
Richard ZhouMPhil 2019-2020Last observed: Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford
Katy DavisPhD student (rotation)Last observed: Dupree group, Cambridge
Monique LiddarResearch AssistantLast observed: St George’s, University of London
Joseph McLoughlinPhD Student, 2016-2019Last observed: Chesterton Community College, Cambridge
Francesca NegriniVisiting PhD studentLast observed: University of Bologna
Lidia VassilievaPhD student from University of HelsinkiLast observed: University of Oxford
Xuelu WangPhD student and postdoc (2012-2019)Last observed: AstraZeneca, Cambridge
Tom CottonPhD Student, 2013-2018Last observed: At Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, Australia
Luana FerraraProtein Scientist, 2018-2019Last observed: Qkine, Cambridge
Andrew OliveiraVisiting PhD student, 2018Last observed: LNBio, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
Gerhard FischerPostdoctoral Research Associate, 2012-2017Last observed, Bohringer Ingelheim, Wien, Austria
Margherita GuaitaMPhil Student, 2016-2017Last observed: University of Manchester
Marcelo Barreto OliveiraVisiting PhD Student, 2016-2017Last observed: University of São Paulo, Brazil
Clare HenryPhD student, 2013-2017Last observed: Cultivated Biosciences, Switzerland
Tommaso MoschettiPostdoctoral research associate, 2011-2016Last observed: Illumina, Cambridge
Maxim RossmannPostdoctoral research associate, 2011-2016Last observed: CIMR, Cambridge
Jane “Cat” DonaldsonPhD student, 2010-2015Last observed: LaunchLabs, Alexandria Center for Life Sciences, New York, USA
Piotr GierszewskiResearch assistant, 2015 
Migle KisonaiteMPhil Student, 2014-2015Last observed in: NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, USA
Mathieu RocaboyPostdoctoral research associate, 2014-2015Last observed: Xpress Biologics, Belgium
Marie SchloesserResearch Assistant, 2015Last observed: University of Liege, Belgium
Mariana Rangel PereiraVisiting PhD stdent, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2013-2014Last observed: Hollfelder group, Cambridge
Agata SienkiewiczResearch Assistant, 2012-2014Last observed: CIMR, Cambridge
Ruoqi “Emma” XuPhD student, 2010-2014Last observed:McCann Health Medical Communications
Emily BlytheMPhil student, 2012-2013Last observed: UCSF, San Francisco, USA
Sandra GreivePostdoctoral research associate, 2010-2012Last observed: DreamPore, Paris, France
May MarshPostdoctoral research associate, 2008-2012Last observed: Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
Katharina RavnResearch Assistant, 2009-2021Last observed: Copenhagen, Denmark
Tim SharpePostdoctoral research associate, 2010-2012Last observed: Biozentrum at University of Basel, Switzerland
Ye “Leaf” GuPhD student, 2007-2011Last observed: American Express, London
Eugene ValkovPostdoctoral Research Associate, 2010-2011Last observed: National Cancer Institute, Frederick, USA
Aman SharmaVisiting MPhil student, 2009-2010Last observed: Oxford
Lesley DacksResearch Assistant, 2008Last observed: University of Alberta, Canada
Sheena D’Arcy“Fostered” PhD student, 2005-2008 & Postdoc, 2008Last observed: University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, USA
Adrian HarringtonPhD student, 2001-2005Last observed: Biogen
David StoryResearch Technician, 2002-2005Last observed: University of Edinburgh
Axel InnisPhD student, 1998-2002Last observed: University of Bordeaux, France

Past undergraduate students

Camilla DicksonPart II student 2024
Alex BerryPart II student 2024
Sarah BristowPart II student 2023
Bocheng XiaoPart II student 2023
Violette ChereauSummer student 2022
Hannah ClarkePart II student 2022
Jonty CorrinPart II student 2022
Amir Rafati FardPart II student 2020-21
Tom HammondPart II student 2020
Alex AtkinPart II student 2020
Cormac CreaghPart II student 2019
Femke AhlersPart II student 2019
Oliwia KoczySummer student, 2018
Will JohnsonPart II student, 2018
Maria ChukanovaPart II student, 2018
Theresa ZeisnerPart II student, 2018
Vytaute BoreikaitePart II student, 2017
Barbara HoganPart II student, 2017
Maddy EnoPart II student, 2016
Michael Jenkyn BedfordPart II student, 2016
Chris WilesSummer Student, 2015
James WagstaffPart II student, 2014
Cara EldridgePart II student, 2014
Matthew MorganSummer Student, 2013
Thomas SanfordPart II student, 2013
Harshnira PataniPart II student, 2013
Adam TibblesSummer student, 2012
Michael DinanPart II student, 2012
Jue WangPart II student, 2012
Hong Kin NgPart II student, 2011
Anne StreeterPart II student, 2011
Siming MaPart II student, 2010
Sarah GardnerSummer student, 2008
Bhamini VaidialingPart II student, 2008
Victoria HendleyPart II student, 2007
Lara OsmotherlyPart II student, 2005
Lucy WilliamsPart II student, 2004
James RobertsonPart II student, 2003
Kong Jie KahPart II student, 2002
Jose PenaSummer student, 2000