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Molecular biosciences

Molecular Biosciences seeks to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of life, with applications in health, food security and technological development.

This research integrates basic biological research and develops cutting-edge techniques in biotechnology and modelling to allow us to predict how biological systems respond to change.

A closeup of some molecular structures.

Research areas

Our research in molecular biosciences encompasses three main areas of focus:

  • Understanding molecular and cellular systems – using biochemical, structural and cellular phenotyping approaches to understand biological function at the molecular level
  • Developmental biology and modelling – taking multiscale approaches to understand and model developmental and stem cell processes in key model organisms, such as insects and plants
  • Imaging and engineering biological systems – using interdisciplinary approaches in biology, physics and chemistry to image and engineer biological systems


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

The Molecular Biosciences division also leads five of the seven Technology Research Hubs within the School of Biosciences -  reflecting its technological strengths.

Fellowship and PhD applications

We welcome approaches by potential fellowship applicants whose interests map onto the divisional research areas.

We also welcome applications from PhD students with research interests that fit our strategic research areas.

Please contact for more information.

Staff members

NameArea of interest
Professor Trevor Dale - Head of DivisionWnt signalling and breast cancer.
Professor Hilary Rogers - Deputy Head of DivisionPlant molecular cell biology: senescence mechanisms and cell cycle.
Professor Paola Borri (Physics)Biophotonics and novel techniques for scanning microscopy.
Dr Barend HJ de GraafPollen Pistil Interactions and Membrane Trafficking.
Dr Walter DewittePlant patterning and growth; plant growth regulators and cell division.
Dr Veronica Grieneisen 
Dr Fisun HamaratogluCell-cell signalling in cell elimination, growth control and cancer.
Dr Patrick HardingeMolecular diagnostics using isothermal nucleic acid amplification, sequencing and microfluidics for infectious disease detection
Dr Nathan Harmston 
Professor John HarwoodAcyl lipid metabolism and function.
Dr Angharad Jones 
Professor Dafydd JonesProtein structural and functional plasticity; protease structure and function.
Dr Tomasz Jurkowski 
Dr Nick KentChromatin structure and function.
Dr Sarah Langley 
Dr Tamara Lechon Gomez 
Dr Sonia Lopez de Quinto (Teaching and Scholarship)RNA regulation through spatial localization.
Dr Francesco MasiaDevelopment of algorithms for image analysis and design of lab-on-chip biosensors
Dr Georgina MenziesBiological structures such as proteins, DNA, and mucins using molecular modelling techniques.
Professor Jim MurrayPlant cellular development; plant and molecular biotechnology.
Dr Josie ParkerCytochrome P450s and antifungal resistance mechanisms
Dr Zoe Prytherch (Teaching and Scholarship)Human in vitro lung models.
Professor Hilary RogersPlant molecular cell biology: senescence mechanisms and cell cycle.
Dr Steve Rutherford (Teaching and Scholarship)Plant molecular cell biology; membrane trafficking; education.
Dr Simon ScofieldTranscriptional networks in plant stem cells and synthetic genetic circuits.
Dr Andrew Shore (Teaching and Scholarship)Epigenetics 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 Standley (Teaching and Scholarship)Developmental biology.
Dr Glen Sweeney (Teaching and Scholarship)Developmental 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.
Professor Helen White-Cooper - Director of ResearchGene regulation in sperm development in Drosophila.
Dr Helen Woodfield (Teaching and Scholarship) 
Dr Mark Young (Lead, Postgraduate Taught Programmes)Membrane protein structural biology.