Speaker Profiles



Speaker Profiles

Wendy Bickmore is the Director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. After an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Oxford, she obtained her PhD at Edinburgh University. During postdoctoral training, she became fascinated by the structure and organization of chromosomes in the nucleus and as an independent fellow of the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine (1991-1996) she went on to show that different human chromosomes have preferred positions in the nucleus, related to their gene content. As an MRC group leader she then investigated how individual genes are organized and packaged in the nucleus and how they move in the cell cycle and during development. Current research in Wendy Bickmore’s laboratory focuses on how the spatial organization of the nucleus influences genome function in development and disease. Wendy is an EMBO member and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She is an editor on many journals including PLoS Genetics and Cell.
Dylan Owen received an MSci in Physics in 2004, an MRes in Protein and Membrane Chemical Biology in 2005 and a PhD in biophysics and biomedical optics in 2008 all from Imperial College London. His PhD was jointly supervised by Prof. Paul French and Prof. Tony Magee in the Department of Physics and the National Heart and Lung Institute respectively where he developed new fluorescence microscopy methods to study cell membranes. In 2008 he moved to the Centre for Vascular Research at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia to work in the group of Prof. Katharina Gaus. He applied super-resolution fluorescence microscopy methods to study immune cell interactions. He moved to King’s College London in January 2013 as part of a joint appointment between the Department of Physics and the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics. From September, Dylan will be a joint appointment between the institute of immunology and immunotherapy and the department of mathematics at the University of Birmingham.
Dylan’s research interests are in the development and application of cutting-edge fluorescence microscopy techniques and their applications to cell biology, in particular the study of cell membranes and T cells. The microscope techniques particularly include super-resolution fluorescence imaging based on single-molecule detection, structured illumination as well as associated data analysis. He also works with environmentally-sensitive fluorescent probes with spectrally-resolved detection as well as fluorescence lifetime imaging. These are applied to cell biology applications. He is particularly interested in the structure and function of the cell membrane and how this regulates cellular signalling events. An especially important application of this is the study of the T cell immunological synapse between the immune cell and its target cell during an immune response.
Charlene Boumendil - Charlene has done her PhD in the lab of Evi Soutoglou in IGBMC, Strasbourg, France, working on DNA repair at the nuclear periphery. She has demonstrated the role of the nuclear pore protein NUP153 in DNA repair as well as the influence of nuclear positioning in DNA repair pathway choice. She then obtained a Marie Curie fellowship to join the lab of Wendy Bickmore for her postdoctoral studies, where she studied the role of nuclear pores in chromatin reorganization during senescence. She recently obtained a researcher position in France where she will join the lab of Valerie Doye in Paris as a semi-independent researcher to pursue her research on the role of nuclear pores in chromatin organization.
Dasa Longman is a senior scientist in the group of Professor Javier Caceres at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh. She completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, under the supervision of Professor Adrian Bird. Her research interests are centred on the biology of RNA processing, in particular on the post-transcriptional quality control of mRNAs. She studies the physiological importance of mRNA processing using various cell and molecular techniques including high resolution imaging, FRET-FLIM and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS).
Matt Smith - I studied for my bachelor degree in Biochemistry at the University of Leeds in 2005. I then moved to the University of Nottingham for an MRes and then to the Babraham Institute, Cambridge to carry out a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology under the supervision of Dr Nick Ktistakis. In early 2016 I joined the lab of Dr. Simon Wilkinson at the IGMM, Edinburgh where I have been working since. My research interests are centred on understanding intracellular signalling mechanisms and particularly those relating to the degradative pathway of autophagy. My recent work focuses on dissecting the role of selective autophagy in the process of pancreatic cancer initiation and progression
Fred Li Mow Chee - I studied for my bachelor degree in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham during which I also carried out a work placement at Lonza analysing the sialylation content of recombinant biotherapeutics. I then joined the IGMM to pursue a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Margaret Frame and Dr. Adam Byron to elucidate the function of adhesome in a cancer progression setting. My current work focuses on the role of perinuclear adhesion proteins in controlling chromatin localisation at the nuclear membrane.
Professor Ibrahim Cissé is currently the Class of 1922 Assistant Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received his Bachelor in Physics in 2004 from North Carolina Central University, and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in December 2009. He moved to Paris from 2010 to 2012, where he was a Post-doctoral Fellow at Ecole Normale Supérieure. He moved back to the US in 2013, as a Research Specialist at the HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus before joining MIT in 2014. His on single molecule and super-resolution imaging has been recognized, including through the Young Fluorescence Investigator award from the Biophysical Society, The Pew Biomedical Scholars, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and Science News SN10 Scientists To Watch.
Rory Duncan is founding Head of the Institute of Biological chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering at Heriot-Watt University, applying advances in EPS to life science challenges. Rory’s particular research interests are in the molecular underpinnings of membrane fusion in regulated secretion and autophagy. He is Co-Director of the Edinburgh super-resolution imaging consortium (ESRIC, with support from MRC/BBSRC/EPSRC and the Wellcome Trust until 2023, developing and applying super-resolution imaging modalities. Rory is Co-I on the EPSRC ‘Proteus’ Interdisciplinary Research Centre and Coordinator of the EU ‘Catacure’ project; both develop non-invasive photonic theranostics. He is Co-I on an MRC-funded Discovery award developing next generation droplet sequencing with an IGMM lead in Chris Ponting. Rory’s work spans many disciplines and he has led publications in leading biology, chemistry, engineering and physics journals, and holds multiple patents. Rory sits on as is ad hoc Chair of STFC Science Board, the principal scientific advisory committee providing strategic oversight on all research activities for that research council, and is part of the Accelerator International Strategic Review Panel, shaping strategy for the next 25 years.