Marta Nabais

Marta is a recipient of QUEX PhD scholarship first edition – a joint PhD programme between the University of Queensland and the University of Exeter. She holds a BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics, from the University of Lisbon and a joint European MSc in Neuroscience (Neurasmus), from the Vrije University Amsterdam, Université de Bordeaux and Charité Universitäsmedizin Berlin. She started her PhD under supervision of Prof. Naomi Wray and Prof. Jonathan Mill in January 2018, in the context of the recently funded BRAIN-MEND project. Broadly, her current project aims at dissecting the etiological overlap between neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. More specifically, she will be applying meta-analytical methods to DNA methylation data across cohorts of different disorders.

Byron Creese

Research Fellow



Byron’s background is in psychology, which he studied to MSc level in 2006 before undertaking his PhD in 2009 at King’s College London in Prof Clive Ballard’s group.  A major theme of Byron’s work in Prof Ballard’s group is understanding the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia and the overlap with other disorders across the lifespan. He has set up several international collaborations to work towards this aim. Byron moved to Exeter in November 2016 and, still working in Prof Ballard’s group, is now starting to extend his work into epigenetics by partnering with Prof Mill’s group.

Aside from genetics Byron is the project manager for the SMART-AD drug repurposing project, a member PROTECT study steering group (a major UK study examining factors influencing cognitive aging – and he played a leading role in the management of the South London and Maudsley Care Home Research Network while at King’s (affiliated with the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at King’s).  Byron has also worked on several major industry and government funded clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of various pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia.


Rosie Bamford

Rosie graduated with an MPhys in Physics from the University of St Andrews. Subsequently, she joined the Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences (PSIBS) Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Birmingham, where she studied for an integrated MSc and PhD. Her PhD project focused on developing fluorophore-tagged DNA probes for cellular imaging applications, under the supervision of Prof. Jim Tucker.

Rosie has worked at the University of Exeter since February 2015, initially based in the School of Biosciences and Living Systems Institute. Working with Dr. Stefano Pagliara, she investigated gene expression in antibiotic tolerant bacteria, using a combination of microfluidics and microscopy.

Currently, she works in the Epigenetics group, supporting the work of Dr. Asami Oguro-Ando.

Dorothea Seiler Vellame

Thea graduated with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Exeter in 2017. In 2016, she carried out a BBSRC funded Bioinformatics Research Placement at the University of Manchester, in which she studied the recombination of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Now a PhD student at the University of Exeter Medical School, under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Mill, her work involves looking at the genomic biomarkers of ageing across the life-course.

Szi Kay Leung

Szi Kay Leung is a PhD student at the University of Exeter, under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Mill, Dr Eilis Hannon, Dr Katie Lunnon and Professor David Collier (Eli Lilly and Company Ltd). Prior to this, she graduated with an integrated MBiochem in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford where she completed her final year project at NDORMS (Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculosketal Sciences) on the regulation of Nerve Growth Factor, pain mediator, in myeloma-bone microenvironment. With a founded interest in epigenetics and Alzheimer’s disease, her PhD project entitled ‘Functional genomic characterisation of Alzheimer’s disease risk genes’ will examine the role of alternative splicing and RNA isoforms in AD by using a range of genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic analyses.

Gemma Shireby

Gemma Shireby is a PhD student at the University of Exeter, under the supervision of Professor Jonathon Mill and Dr Eilis Hannon. She graduated with a first class degree in BSc biology with psychology from Queen Mary, University of London and went on to study an MSc in “Genes, environment and development” at King’s College London. During her PhD she is using novel bioinformatic and computational approaches to explore the regulatory genomic consequences of genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

Georgina Mansell

Georgina graduated from the University of Exeter with a first class degree in Natural Sciences in 2017. During this time, she studied a wide range of topics in science and mathematics and discovered her interest in programming. In her final year project, she chose to work on a bioinformatics project with Dr Eilis Hannon in […]

Clare Davis

Clare Davis is a third year BSc Medical Sciences (Neuroscience) student at the University of Exeter. She is now currently on her Professional Training Year, where she will be assisting with Dr. Asami Ogoro-Ando and Dr. John Chilton’s research. Her project is titled “Defining the molecular actions of JAKMIP1, a neuronal translation regulator, identified as a candidate gene for autism”.

Madie Eve

Madie Eve has just completed her second year at the University of Exeter studying Medical Sciences. She is hoping to use this year of research to understand more about the neuropathology associated with Autism in Dr Asami Oguro-Ando’s laboratory as a PTY student.

Hedley Baulf

Hedley Baulf is a 3rd Year BSc Medical Sciences student at the University of Exeter, studying all modules relevant to a specialisation in Human Genomics. He is currently undertaking his professional training year under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Mill in a project titled ‘The Epigenetic Basis of Human Disease’.