Present members

The group currently consist of 15 members – 8 research scientists and 6 graduate students. Details and biographicals below:

Professor Simon Newstead

Simon Newstead is the Professor of Molecular Membrane Biology and Theme head for Structural Biology & Molecular Biophysics in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, a member of the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience discovery 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.

PDRA post – TBC

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 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 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. aeruginosa

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 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.

Kathryn joined the group in 2021 as DPhil student studying the role of potassium channels in health and disease and is jointly supervised with Professor Stephen Tucker in the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Discovery.

Mr Sacha Salphati: BBSRC DTC DPhil student

Sacha joined the group in 2021 as a BBSRC-funded DPhil student (BBSRC DTC) studying the role of ion channels and transporters in lysosomal homeostasis and is jointly supervised by Professor Stephen Tucker in the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Discovery. Prior to joining the lab, he obtained a BSc degree with a year in research in Biochemistry at Imperial College London. During this year of research, Sacha investigated the endocannabinoid system in zebrafish in the lab of Prof. Su Guo at UCSF.  He carried out his final year project with Dr. Doryen Bubeck and investigated protein complexes formed by pore-forming proteins.

Mr Sigurbjörn Markusson: Wellcome Cellular Structural Biology Student

Sigurbjörn is a Wellcome Trust-funded DPhil student in Cellular Structural Biology who joined the group in 2021 to study the structure and function of lysosomal ion channels, and their role in health and disease. Previously, he conducted a BSc study at the University of Iceland, focusing on elucidating the reaction mechanism of Vibrio alkaline phosphatase using X-ray crystallography, and an MSc degree at the University of Bergen, Norway, where he studied the structure of Arc and CNPase, using nanobodies as crystallisation chaperones. ORCID

Ms Abby Lin: Wellcome Cellular Structural Biology Student

Abby joined the Newstead group in 2021 as a Wellcome Trust funded Dphil Student in Cellular Structural Biology, focusing on lysosomal membrane transporters. She obtained her B.Sc. in Chemistry-Biology Combined Major Program in Osaka University, Japan, and studied structures of engineered Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 mutants with enhanced affinity toward the SARS-CoV2 spike protein in Junichi Takagi Lab.