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Dr Nicholas A. Kent

Dr Nicholas A. Kent

Senior Lecturer

Ysgol y Biowyddorau

+44 (0)29 2087 9036
+44 (0)29 2087 4116
School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX , Adeilad Syr Martin Evans, Rhodfa'r Amgueddfa, Caerdydd, CF10 3AX
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Research Overview

DNA in cells does not function as a naked double helix, but is bound by various structural proteins to form chromatin. The modulation of chromatin structure is a key process in the catalysis and regulation of gene transcription, DNA replication and DNA repair. The Kent lab uses novel next-generation chromatin sequencing techniques to analyse chromatin function in a variety of organisms including humans, plants, flies and yeast. We also hope to be a driving force in the emerging field of research into chromatin in non-nuclear genomes such as those of the archaea. The aim of our research is to understand basic chromatin biology relevant to human health, crop improvement and the evolution of genome structure. We are currently funded by the BBSRC and The Waterloo Foundation.

The Kent Lab webpages (including Supplementary Data for recent publications) can be found here

Postgraduate Research Students 

Mrs Janet Harwood

Research Division

Molecular Biosciences


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); dissecting the role of the SWI/SNF class ATPase RSC in chromatin-remodelling during chromosome break formation and repair (Kent et al., 2007; Chambers et al., 2012a); identifying a role for the INO80 class ATPase in centromere function and genome stability (Chambers et al., 2012b). The main focus of his lab is now developing novel next-generation chromatin-SEQ techniques to analyse chromatin structure and function at a genome-wide level (Kent et al., 2011; Durand-Dubief et al., 2012; Platt et al., 2013; Maruyama et al., 2013).

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. 














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