Molecular biosciences

We are an innovative, well-funded and cohesive division with excellent facilities for a broad range of techniques.

We have close links with Chemistry in structural biology and with Physics in the development of advanced imaging technologies, and collaborate globally with academic and industrial partners.

Research areas

Our research has a broad impact in areas including increasing our understanding of basic biological systems, improving diagnosis and therapy for human diseases and the development of novel commercialisable technologies.

Our research activities include:

  • engineering protein structure and function
  • gene regulation
  • chromatin function
  • molecular genetics of development
  • stress responses
  • cancer biology
  • basic cell biological processes, such as cell division, cell death, cell signalling, motility and chemotaxis

Staff members


NameArea of interest
Professor Helen White-Cooper - Head of DivisionGene regulation in sperm development in Drosophila.
Professor Paola Borri (Physics)Biophotonics and novel techniques for scanning microscopy.
Professor Trevor Dale Wnt signalling and breast cancer.
Dr Barend HJ de GraafPollen Pistil Interactions and Membrane Trafficking.
Dr Walter DewittePlant patterning and growth; plant growth regulators and cell division.
Professor John HarwoodAcyl lipid metabolism and function.
Dr Dafydd JonesProtein structural and functional plasticity; protease structure and function.
Dr Nick KentChromatin structure and function.
Dr Sonia Lopez de QuintoRNA regulation through spatial localization.
Professor Jim MurrayPlant cellular development; plant and molecular biotechnology.
Dr Hilary RogersPlant molecular cell biology: senescence mechanisms and cell cycle.
Dr Steve RutherfordPlant molecular cell biology; membrane trafficking; education.
Dr Simon ScofieldTranscriptional networks in plant stem cells and synthetic genetic circuits.
Dr Andrew ShoreEpigenetics and Thermogenesis, collaborative learning in Higher Education, technology enhanced learning, quantitative assessment of success in higher education, evolution of entry qualifications based upon attainment in Higher Education, development of school and college curricular to support transition to Higher Education.
Dr Henrietta StandleyDevelopmental biology.
Dr Glen SweeneyDevelopmental transitions in farmed-fish; RNA processing; education.
Dr Mike TaylorPrograms of cell differentiation.
Dr Wynand Van der Goes van NatersMolecular basis of sensory systems in insects.
Dr Peter Watson Protein and lipid trafficking.
Dr Louise WoodgateAssessment, transition to university and curriculum design
Dr Mark Young (Postgraduate Divisional Tutor)Membrane protein structural biology.