Simeng Lin

Simeng is a gastroenterology trainee doctor in the South West, with an interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She has been awarded a Wellcome GW4-CAT fellowship and is currently pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Prof Jonathan Mill, Dr Eilis Hannon and Dr Tariq Ahmad at the University of Exeter and Dr Gareth Jones at the University of Bristol.

During her PhD, Simeng’s project will focus on using genomic approaches to understand the molecular mechanisms of immunogenicity to biologic therapies.

Anthony Klokkaris

Anthony is a PhD student at the University of Exeter, under the supervision of Dr Anna Migdalska-Richards, Professor Jonathan Mill and Professor Nigel Williams (Cardiff University). Prior to this, he completed his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science (2019) and Masters in Translational Neuroscience (2020) at the U niversity of Sheffield. During this time, he became particularly interested in neurodegenerative diseases, investigating mitochondrial dysfunction and mitophagy in Parkinson’s disease for his MSc project.
Anthony was awarded a GW4 BioMed MRC DTP studentship in 2020 with his project focusing on the role of epigenetics in Parkinson’s disease. In particular, he will be investigating DNA methylation in both neuronal and non-neuronal cell types from the brains of Parkinson’s individuals. The hope is that this will shed new insights into the causes and mechanisms of the disease with the ultimate aim of uncovering potential therapeutic targets.

Martyn Frith

Martyn is a third year BSc Medical Sciences student at the University of Exeter. He has recently started his Professional Training Year (PTY) with the Complex Disease Epigenetics Group under the supervision of Dr. Emma Dempster. The focus of his PTY is mapping regulatory genomic variation in schizophrenia.

Grant Neilson

Grant graduated with a First Class Honours in an Msci in Biology from the University Of Southampton. For his Masters project he was involved in a study aiming to build an accurate polygenic risk score for age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. During this project he developed an interest for bioinformatics, and learned the true power of predictive algorithms in biology. During his time at University he was heavily involved in Immunology and upon graduation was awarded British Society for immunology undergraduate award for his dissertation and his continued contributions to the field.

He is working as a bioinformatics graduate research assistant within the complex disease epigenetics group, assisting on a whole range of projects.

Gina Commin

Gina completed a degree in Natural Sciences, specialising in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, at the University of Cambridge. Following this she spent a few years working in clinical research including working for a company specialising in pharmacovigilance monitoring and then assisting in the management of a large multinational Haematology trial. She then undertook an MPhil  in Developmental Biology at the University of Cambridge. This was followed by a PhD in the lab of Dr Erica Watson, co-supervised by Prof Anne Ferguson Smith, exploring the potential genetic and epigenetic mechanisms responsible for the transgenerational inheritance of developmental abnormalities seen in mice with abnormal folate metabolism. Gina joins the Epigenetics group as a Research Assistant.

Michael Schrauben

Michael is a PhD student at the University of Exeter under the supervision of Professor Katie Lunnon and Dr Emma Dempster. He recently graduated from Imperial College London with a MRes degree in Cancer Biology and previously obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Greenwich. Through projects investigating the role of DNA methylation in ovarian cancer progression and the impact of alternative splicing on miRNA regulation, Michael developed a keen interest in epigenetics and gene editing tools. For his PhD, which is entitled “Functional characterisation of epigenetic loci implicated in dementia”, he intends to examine the consequences of loci methylation/de-methylation on cell function by using CRISPR epigenetic editing, as well as epigenomic and transcriptomic methods. 

Ffion James

Ffion James is a third year BSc Medical Sciences student at the University of Exeter, currently partaking in a Professional Training Year (PTY). For the first half of her PTY, she assisted with Dr Ryoichi Sadahiro’s research of postoperative delirium at the National Cancer Centre Japan in Tokyo. For the second half, she will be working under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Mill, continuing to research in delirium, with the project titled, “Epigenetic biomarker predicting the onset of postoperative delirium and subsequent cognitive decline”.

Yasaman Malekizadeh

Rob Flynn

My name is Rob Flynn and I am from Galway, Ireland. I acquired a BA in psychology from University College Dublin during which time I spent summers in Nice, France (2015) and New York (2016) working and travelling. Following my bachelor, I wanted to learn more about the fundamental underpinnings of many neurobiological diseases. To this end, I applied for the MSc in Fundamental Neuroscience at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. During this time I was introduced to a huge variety of topics, one of which was the fascinating area of epigenetics. Since my early years as an undergraduate, I bore an interest in schizophrenia. Accordingly, upon seeing the emerging body of research combining schizophrenia and epigenetic mechanisms, I wanted to become a part of it. As such, I conducted a 9 month internship at the complex disease epigenetics group under the supervision of Dr. Emma Dempster. During this time I worked with CRISPR based cell models. I am now employed under Prof. Jon Mill as a research technician. Currently, my primary role is to carry out Illumina methylation arrays for many of our collaborators. Regarding hobbies, I am a drummer. However, sadly, my drum kit is in Galway so I will have to remain separated from it until I stop moving around constantly! Secondly, I enjoy sports and train in the sport of Olympic weightlifting.

Greg Wheildon

“I graduated with a BSc in Pharmacology from the University of Bristol and spent time afterwards helping with the management of my family’s business. I returned to academia to study for a MSc in Molecular Neuroscience, also at the University of Bristol. It was here that my interest in dementia research grew and my research project investigated the impact of MicroRNAs on neuronal differentiation and the implications this has for dementia. My PhD investigates epigenetic changes in the HOXA gene cluster in Alzheimer’s Disease