Group Members

Past group members are shown at the end of the page.




Photo of the person

Group Leader - Prof. Sheena E. Radford, OBE FMedSci FRS
Research Interests: Protein Folding and Misfolding.
BSc in Biochemistry, University of Birmingham; PhD Biochemistry, University of Cambridge; Royal Society University Research Fellow (Protein Folding) in the Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences; University Lecturer in the School of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Leeds; Reader in Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds; Professor of Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds.

The laboratory also accommodates the groups of Professor David Brockwell and Dr Anton Calabrese. Their own websites are:
Professor David Brockwell - Astbury Centre website - Faculty of Biological Sciences website
Dr Anton Calabrese - Astbury Centre website - Faculty of Biological Sciences website

Contact details:
Astbury Centre of Structural Molecular Biology, Garstang Building, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT
Tel: 0113 343 3170; FAX: 0113 343 3167;
email: s.e.radford@leeds.ac.uk

Our support team
Helen McAllister
Helen is Prof Radford's PA. She organises the group and keeps everything coordinated. She can be contacted on h.mcallister@leeds.ac.uk 0113 343 7036
Helen McAllister
Nasir Khan
Nasir joined the group in 2010 as our lab manager. He keeps the lab running smoothly and hence is a key member of our research team. He has excellent skills in maintaining and developing our excellent equipment base and also works as the facility manager for the CD facility.
Nasir Khan
The Amyloid Team
Amyloid team

The Amyloid Team - Nov 2023

Ms Chloe Atkins
Chloe graduated with an MChem from Leeds in October 2022 an is working on a joint project with Prof Andy Wilson in Chemistry. Her project is to develop small molecule inhibitors of amyloid formation and to explore how sequence changes affect amyloid formation using covalent tethering.
Chloe Atkins
Dr Liam Aubrey
Dr Liam Aubrey joined the group in February 2022, funded as part of Prof Radford's Royal Society Research Professorship. His project will focus on understanding how dynamic disorder in amyloid fibrils impacts on biology focussing on α-synuclein and Orb2. Liam brings expertise in amyloid structure and biology having completed his PhD in Sheffield and a postdoctoral position with Wei-Feng Xue at the University of Kent.
Dr Liam Aubrey
Ms Taya Bosson
Taya graduated in neuroscience from the University of Leeds in 2022 and joined the group in October funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP. She is co-supervised by Dr Jessica Kwok in the School of Biomedical Sciences and is looking at the mechanism of transmission of misfolded α-synuclein between neurones in Lewy pathology in Parkinsons Disease. This new collaboration brings neuroscience to our amyloid research team.
Taya Bosson
Dr Pijush Chakraborty
Pijush Chakraborty joined our Wellcome funded team working on protein-protein interactions that determine the early phases of amyloid assembly. He completed a PhD and postdoc in biological NMR at the Max-Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences at University of Gottingen. Combining NMR with single-molecule FRET with other biophysical analyses, his project will focus on amyloid formation of alpha-synuclein and IAPP.
Dr Pijush Chakraborty
Mr Jack Connor
Jack joined the group in October 2022 following a BSc in York and a year's research experience at the University of Oxford in the Parkinson's Unit. Jack is co-supervised by Prof David Brockwell and is using screening and deep mutational scanning to understand sequence/aggregation relationships in amyloid formation.
Jack Connor
Ms Katy Dewison
Funded by the MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Programme, Katy joined us in November 2020 to investigate protein mis-folding and its toxic consequences by combining biochemistry with experiments in C. elegans. She obtained her Masters at the University of Edinburgh and has a BSc in Molecular Biology. Jointly supervised with Dr Patricija van Oosten Hawle, Katy is working on α-synuclein, amylin and β2-microglobulin amyloidoses.
Katy Dewison
Dr Richard Digby
Richard studied Medicine at Cambridge (St. John's College) from 2009-2018, intercalating with a BA in Neuroscience (2012) and a PhD in Neurophysiology (2017), supervised by Professor Ole Paulsen. He is now an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow and Specialist Registrar in Histopathology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. In our group he is developing electrophysiological and other approaches to assess the pathological impact of different forms of alpha synuclein aggregates, working in collaboration with the groups of Jessica Kwok and Sue Deuchars.
Dr Richard Digby
Ms Maddie Gilbert
Maddie is funded by the MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Programme and is working in collaboration with Dr Rene Frank on an exciting project using cryo electron tomography to examine the effect of amyloid oligomers on synaptic function.
Ms Maddie Gilbert
Dr David Hicks
David joined the group in January 2023 funded on Prof Radford's Royal Society Professorial Fellowship. David has extensive experience of neurobiology and cell biology and we are excited to build these skills into the team. His project will focus on the mechanism of aggregate uptake into cells and the influence of aggregate structure on cell toxicity.
Dr David Hicks
Dr Jonathan Machin
Jonathan gained an MBiochem in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford in 2019. He was funded as a Wellcome Trust PhD student and joined our OMP team to use cryo-EM, molecular dynamics and functional assays to study the role of lipopolysaccahride in OMP structure, folding and assemby. He was jointly supervised by Sheena Radford, Antreas Kalli and Neil Ranson. He gained his PhD in 2023 and is now working on cryoEM of amyloid funded by The Wellcome Trust. He will next continue to work on OMPs and their interaction with membranes as a Researcher-Coinvestigator on an exciting new MRC programme grant jointly with Profs Radford and Ranson.
Jonathan Machin
Dr Emma Norgate
Emma joined in April 2023 as a postdoc working on a joint MRC grant with Profs Neil Ranson. Frank Sobott and Sheena Radford, studying ex vivo IAPP fibril formation in pancreas tissue using mass spectrometry and cryo-EM. Collaboration with Dr Paolo Actis aims to unravel tissue-specific geography of amyloid formation using nanopipettes. Emma’s research background is in native mass spectrometry and ion mobility. She completed her PhD working with Prof Perdita Barran at the University of Manchester in 2022, and then went on to work as a research scientist at OMass Therapeutics before moving to Leeds.
Dr Emma Norgate
Dr Alex Taylor
Alex joined the group in August 2022 as part of the amyloid team, having completed his PhD on Aβ assembly at the University of Sheffield. Alex is funded by the Wellcome Trust and will use his expertise in biophysics and kinetic modelling to understand how IAPP assembles into amyloid and intervention in this process using small molecules.
Dr Alex Taylor
Dr Dev Thacker
Dev joined the group in January 2023 to join the Wellcome Trust-funded team working on cryo-EM and mechanistic studies of amyloid formation. Dev completed his PhD with Sarah Linse in Lund, Sweden and brings skills in aggregation kinetics and super resolution imaging to the group.
Dr Dev Thacker
Dr Martin Walko
Martin is currently funded as part of our BBSRC sLOLA team led by Prof Andrew Wilson investigating protein-protein interactions in intrinsically disorder proteins. His chemical skills are key to the groups ability to create new cross-linkers, small molecules and peptides. He previously had joined the group in 2017 funded by EPSRC on a project with Prof Andy Wilson (Chemistry), Prof Alison Ashcroft (mass spec) and Dr Eric Hewitt (cell biology) where he synthesised Aβ40/42 containing amino acids modified by cross linkers to determine the structure and toxicity of Aβ aggregation intermediates.
Dr Martin Walko
Dr Martin Wilkinson
Martin joined the amyloid team in October 2020 having worked previously in structural biology at Imperial College London. He is funded by the MRC with Prof Neil Ranson and his project is focussing on using cryo-EM to determine the structure of amyloid fibrils.
Dr Martin Wilkinson
The OMP Team
OMP team

The OMP Team - Nov 2023

Ms Isabelle Boon
Isabelle joined the lab in October 2021 with a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds. She will be funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP to work with Profs Radford and Brockwell on the mechanism of OMP folding, particularly on de novo design of trans membrane barrels and their targeting to the outer membrane
Isabelle Boon
Dr Joel Crossley
Joel joined us in March 2022 as a postdoc focusing on developing single-molecule fluorescence methodology to investigate the molecular mechanisms which drive protein transport in the ubiquitous Sec translocon. He is funded by BBSRC and is co-supervised by Prof David Brockwell and Prof Roman Tuma (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic). The project is part of a long-standing collaboration with Prof Ian Collinson (University of Bristol).
Dr Joel Crossley
Dr Katherine Fenn
Katherine joined the OMP team in September 2021 as a postdoc working with Profs Sheena Radford and Neil Ranson funded by the MRC to work on cryo-EM studies of BAM-catalysed outer membrane protein folding. She came to us having completed her PhD from Queen Mary London on membrane proteins involved in pathogenesis and their host-cell interactions. She is now funded as a Researcher-Coinvestigator on a new BBSRC grant with Neil Ranson using cryoEM and other biophysical methods to investigate how OMPs are folded into the bacterial outer membrane.
Dr Katherine Fenn
Ms Vicky Higgins
Vicky joined the OMP team in 2024 working as a research assistant. She helps the team by making mutants and producing proteins with her project focussing on protein-protein interactions that determine how OMPs are delivered to, and fold into, the outer membrane of Gram negative pathogens. She is funded a BBSRC grant with Prof Neil Ranson.
Vicky Higgins
Dr Jonathan Machin
Jonathan gained an MBiochem in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford in 2019. He was funded as a Wellcome Trust PhD student and joined our OMP team to use cryo-EM, molecular dynamics and functional assays to study the role of lipopolysaccahride in OMP structure, folding and assemby. He was jointly supervised by Sheena Radford, Antreas Kalli and Neil Ranson. He gained his PhD in 2023 and is now working on cryoEM of amyloid funded by The Wellcome Trust. He will next continue to work on OMPs and their interaction with membranes as a Researcher-Coinvestigator on an exciting new MRC programme grant jointly with Profs Radford and Ranson.
Jonathan Machin
The Biologics Team
Biologics team

The Biologics Team - Nov 2023

Mr Miles Deans
Miles studied at the University of Oxford, gaining his degree in 2020, before joining us to work on protein aggregation mechanisms with Prof David Brockwell. He brings us skills in bioinformatics and computational biology and will be combining experimental and computational methods to aid the prediction of protein aggregation especially of relevance to biopharma. He is funded by a BBSRC iCASE studentship with AstraZeneca.
Miles Deans
Mr Conor McKay
Conor joined the lab in October 2021, having obtained a BSc at Sheffield in Biomedical Sciences and an MSc in Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics Prediction at UCL. He is funded by a BBSRC CTP with AstraZeneca and is working under the joint supervision of Profs Radford and Brockwell on directed evolution and deep mutational analysis to better understand the rules guiding protein aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins and other proteins of biopharmaceutical interest. His work will combine experimental and prediction studies.
Conor McKay
Dr Leon Willis
Leon joined the 'Biologics' team in 2014 when he commenced his EPSRC-funded PhD supervised jointly with David Brockwell and Nik Kapur. Leon currently holds an EPSRC doctoral Fellowship and is co-funded by AstraZeneca. He is continuing his fundamental studies of how and why flow causes proteins to aggregate.
Dr Leon Willis

Past Group Members

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(people who started in the group between)



We would like to thank the following organisations for the funds to support our research:
BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, and The University of Leeds.

“ Ich habe nichts dagegan, wenn Sie langsam denken, aber ich habe etwas dagagen, wenn Sie rascher publizieren, als Sie denken. (I don't mind if you think slowly, but I do mind if you publish faster than you think. ”