Present members

The group currently consist of 15 members – 10 research scientists and 5 graduate students. Details and biographicals below:

Professor Simon Newstead

Simon Newstead is the Professor of Molecular Membrane Biology in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford and the Biochemistry tutor at Christ Church. 

Dr Jo Parker: Senior Scientist

Jo is a senior scientist in the group and currently Co-Investigator on an MRC funded grant to understand the molecular basis for nucleotide sugar transport in health and disease. Targeting glycosylation is a promising avenue for the development of new and urgently needed anti fungal medications. Previously Jo was a Principle Scientific Officer at Cancer Research UK’s Clare Hall laboratory where she developed biochemical assays to understand pathways linked to DNA damage tolerance. ORCID 0000-0003-2964-2720.

Dr Julia Humes: Research Associate

Julia joined the group in 2019 and is currently working on a BBSRC LINK award with Unilever to develop novel inhibitors of Body Odour using nanobodies and small molecule blockers. Julia did her first post-doc with Prof. Jane Endicott at Newcastle University after completing her PhD with Prof. Sheena Radford at the University of Leeds.

Dr Feng Qu: Research Associate

Feng joined the group in 2019 as a post-doctoral research associate funded on a BBSRC grant to understand peptide binding dynamics in the POT family of proton coupled transporters. Since 2020 Feng has moved onto to studying trafficking receptors and the mechanisms of protein trafficking in the early secretory pathway. Feng obtained her Ph.D from Imperial College London researching ABC transporters; prior to this she obtained a Masters in Drug Discovery and Translational Biology from the University of Edinburgh and her B.Sc. from the China Pharmaceutical University in Nanjing in the P.R. China.

Dr Alicia Churchill-Angus: Research Associate

Alicia joined the group in 2020 as a post-doctoral research associate funded by Wellcome and is currently working on proton coupled transporters in health and disease. Alicia obtained her Ph.D from The University of Sheffield researching bacterial pore forming toxins (PFTs), in particular the tripartite PFTs from Gram negative bacteria https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0918-2333.

Dr Gabriel Kuteyi: Research Scientist

Gabriel joined the group in 2014 after completing his PhD with Professor Roslyn Bill at Aston University in Birmingham. Gabriel is currently the manager of our tissue culture suite and researchers novel methods for eukaryotic membrane protein production. He works on several projects supporting protein production and QC.

Dr Takafumi Kato: JSPS Research Fellow

Kato joined the Newstead group in 2020 as a postdoctoral researcher funded on a JSPS fellowship. He obtained his Ph.D from the University of Tokyo researching crystal structures of plant iron transporter VIT1. He has started Cryo-EM works since 2019 and cerrently focuses on mechanisms of an intracellular receptor complex.

Dr William Wu: Research Associate

Having completed a BSc in Neuroscience at University College London, I came to Oxford to undertake a DPhil under the generous funding of the OxIon DPhil programme. William obtained his DPhil in 2020 and started a new post on our Wellcome Collaborative Award researching the structure and function of trafficking receptors jointly with the Biggin Group. I’m interested in understanding the mechanism of membrane transport through computational and experimental approaches. I use molecular dynamic simulations and quantum mechanical calculations to probe the energy landscape of the ligand binding as well as the conformational change of transporter. I also tested the results functionally though transport assays and structurally using x-ray crystallography.

Dr Jonathan Goult: Research Associate

Jonathan joined the group in 2021 as a post-doctoral research associate funded by (Wellcome) and is currently investigating proton coupled transporters, and their role in health and disease. Jonathan completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford in the Kleanthous group researching bacterial protein antibiotics that specifically target multidrug resistant P. aeruginosahttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8513-7054

Dr Oliver Adams: Research Associate

Oliver joined the Newstead lab in 2017 as a BBSRC Interdisciplinary Biosciences DTP student researching the structural characterisation of transporters involved in infectious disease, especially those from M. tuberculosis. In 2021 Oli joined the group as a Research Associate researching proton coupled transporters in health and disease.

Mr Daniel Frey: Wellcome Trust Structural Biology DPhil student

Daniel is a Wellcome Trust-funded DPhil student in Cellular Structural Biology that joined the Newstead group in 2020. His research focusses on elucidating the structural nature of KDEL receptor-cargo complexes. Previously, he conducted his B.Sc. and M.Sc. studies in Biochemistry at the Technical University of Munich and computationally studied proton transfer in cytochrome c oxidase in the lab of Ville Kaila at Stockholm University during his M.Sc. thesis project.

Mr Dimitris Kolokouris:BBSRC DTC DPhil student

Dimitris is a BBSRC-funded D.Phil student (BBSRC DTP) with additional support from the Onassis Foundation. His undergraduate studies are in Pharmacy (M.Pharm) specialising in medicinal chemistry and he is a registered pharmacist by the Ministry of Health in Greece. Dimitris joined the Newstead group in July 2019 to pursue a D.Phil focusing on structural, functional and computational studies on eukaryotic proton-coupled amino acid transporters. He is jointly supervised by Prof. Phill Biggin.

Mr Mark Löbel: Biochemistry DPhil student

Mark joined the Newstead lab in 2019 as a Clarendon Scholar undertaking his DPhil research on lysosomal membrane proteins. He obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at the University of Wuerzberg, Germany, where he worked on Ubiquitin-Activating Enzyme Fragment-Based Screening. He also undertook a 4-month internship with John Kuriyan at UC Berkeley, researching Substrate Preferences along the Src-Family Kinases. Mark is co-supervised with Prof. Francis Barr. Mark is currently funded by an MRC Studentship.

Mr Bjarne Feddersen: Wellcome Structural Biology DPhil student

Bjarne is a DPhil student on the Cellular Structural Biology course and joined our group for his second rotation in 2021. He completed his B. Sc. and M. Sc. degrees in Hanover, Germany, which concluded with X-ray crystallography on an NDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase of a eukaryotic parasite, undertaken in Roman Fedorov’s group at Hannover Medical School. He also undertook a research internship in Uli Schwarz-Linek’s group at the University of St Andrews, during which he studied bacterial surface proteins, and joined Bayer for a six-month placement. After studying insect neuroreceptors with computational approaches in Phil Biggin’s group for his first rotation, he has now joined the Newstead group to investigate the mechanism of action of fungal nucleotide-sugar transporters. 

Mr Simon Lichtinger: Wellcome Trust Chemistry in Cells DPhil student

Simon joined the group in 2021 as DPhil student studying the molecular basis for drug transport via SLC transporters. Simon is co-supervised with Prof. Phil Biggin and funded by the Wellcome Chemistry in Cells programme.