Dr Nicholas A. Kent - DPhil
Nick received a BSc. (Hons) from the University of East Anglia in 1989 and a D.Phil from the University of Oxford in 1994. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
During his doctoral work in Jane Mellor's laboratory in Oxford, he became interested in how the physical packaging of DNA influences gene expression, and developed technology ("the NP-40 method") for digesting yeast chromatin with nucleases in order to map chromatin structure which is still used widely today (Kent et al., 1993; Kent and Mellor, 1995). From 1994, he undertook post-doctoral work at Oxford in both the Biochemistry Department (Mellor lab) and the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology (Proudfoot lab), and became a Departmental Lecturer in the Genetics Unit in 2002. During this time in Oxford, Nick worked on co-activator/repressor complexes which use energy from ATP hydrolysis to remodel chromatin structure, and played a key role in discovering the cellular functions of the ISWI and CHD classes of these enzymes (Kent et al., 2001; Alen et al., 2002, Morillion et al., 2003, Martinez-Campa et al., 2004).
Nick took up a Lectureship at Cardiff University in 2006 and has since published papers characterising chromatin environments at the rDNA locus and telomeres (Jones et al., 2007; Loney et al., 2009), and has dissected the role of the SWI/SNF class ATPase RSC in chromatin-remodelling during chromosome break formation and repair (Kent et al., 2007). His lab continues to focus on the chromatin-remodelling steps required for DNA break repair by homologous recombination in yeast, and is also now using novel next-generation nucleosome sequencing techniques to analyse chromatin-remodeller function at a genome-wide level (Kent et al., 2010).
At other times, he has dabbled in eye lens proteins, dust mite allergens, business development consultancy, guitar playing and juggling. He is married to the immunologist Viv Perkins, and they live together with their two sons near Coleford in the Forest of Dean.