Gerald Kerkut Charitable Trust
Current Projects and Postgraduate Students

(Last update: December 2021)

Projects commencing in 2022


Project topic


To be determined

Investigating the regulatory role of central carbon metabolism on cell fate decisions during liver development and regeneration

Nicole Prior, Jonathan Swann

To be determined

Induction of lysosomal biogenesis in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) as a novel treatment for Stargardt disease

Arjuna Ratnayaka, Andrew Lotery, David Tumbarello

To be determined

Towards understanding autism a pipeline to identify genetic variations contributing to autism spectrum disorders and dissect their mechanism of action

James Dillon, Katrin Deinhardt

To be determined

Understanding the physiology of the Green Revolution to enhance wheat varieties for future food security

Matthew Terry, Lorraine Williams


Year 1 (2021 start)


Project topic


Christina Georgiadou

The role of FcRIIb in Parkinson's Disease

Jessica Teeling, Phil Williamson, Herman Wijnen

Amber Cooper

The identification of modifiers of trans-synaptic propagation of tau pathology in Drosophila

Amrit Mudher, Herman Wijnen, Katrin Deinhardt


Year 2 (2020 start)


Project topic


Ellie Seaby

The integration of clinical samples with 300,000 reference exomes and genomes for health and disease

Sarah Ennis, Heidi Rehm

Brad Richardson

How do neurons age? Does this contribute to age-related decline in behaviour?

Amrit Mudher, Herman Wijnen

Lucy Scullard

CSP-alpha proteostasis: mediation and modulation of synaptic stability in health and disease.

Vincent O'Connor, Katrina Deinhardt

Naomi Thorne

Investigating mitochondrial-derived vesicles and their relationship to Parkinson's pathology.

David Tumbarello, Roxana Carare


Year 3 (2019 start)


Project topic


Jacob Trend

Does common aetiology between Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis exist?

Claire Clarkin, Katrin Deinhardt, Schneider

Michael Price

Light-mediated switching of circadian pacemaker function across the neural clock circuit of Drosophila

Herman Wijnen, Mariana Vargos-Caballero

Kathryn Hussey

Investigating the role of non-classical MHC class I molecules in immune evasion by tumour cells

Hannah Siddle, James, Reeves

Lloyd Steele-Nicholson

Enhancing integrin-mediated neurite outgrowth and repair

David Tumbarello, Melissa Andrews

Laura Cooke

Mechanisms of placental vitamin D handling and prenatal programming of adult obesity

Jane Cleal, Jaswinder Sethi, Pam Mahon, Nicholas Harvey


Year 4 (2018 start)


Project topic


Ben Bachelor

How Aβ42 influences Tau phenotypes in a Drosophila model

Amrit Mudher

Dawn Cooper

Interactions between airborne triggers of asthma

Matthew Loxham, Emily Swindle, Damon Teagle

Rebecca Carter

Control of Zn homeostasis and the contribution to plant physiology

Lorraine Williams

Dianne Lopez

What is the limiting step in pathogenic tau transmission along neuronal networks?

Katrin Deinhardt, Mark Coldwell, Jonathan West

Hannah Warming

Recovery of neuronal function and memory in a mouse model of haemorrhagic stroke

Mariana Vargas-Cabalerro, Ian Galea, Diederik Bulters

Lauren McNicholas

Ups and downs of NMDAR phosphorylation by Fyn kinase: relevance for synaptic function in AD

Katrin Deinhardt, Mariana Vargas-Caballero

Steve John

Chemical probes for precise dissection of the Wnt signalling pathway

Matthias Baud, Rob Ewing, Graham Packham, Paul Skipp


Writing up or Thesis Submitted


Project topic


Jessica Bampton

SOS for plant stress: single oxygen signalling pathways mediating stress acclimation in plants

Matthew Terry, Haruko Okamoto

Evelin Szalai

Physiological role of protein phosphatase 1 during chromosome segregation

Marcin Przewloka, Paul Skipp

Monica Guerro-Carrasco

Understanding the role of early-life inflammation on the incidence of Alzheimer's disease

Diego Gomez-Nicola, Mariana Vargas-Caballero

Maria Fankhaenel

Unravelling the genetic and developmental mechanisms of asymmetric cell division in mammary stem cells

Salah Elias, Keith Jones

Helena Rawsthorne

Modelling decision making in C.elegans: a platform to investigate major psychiatric disease

Lindy Holden Dye, James Dillon

Stephanie Robinson

Lymphatic Networks & infiltrating cells in lung: Modelling and quantitative analysis of structural relationships in real lung samples imaged by micro computed tomography (µCT) and immunohistochemistry

Peter Lackie, Tina Roose

Iytzia Castaneda-Davalos

Disentangling contribution of light and beneficial bacteria on the nutritional value of Brassica plants.

Marc Dumont, Haruko Okamoto

Charlotte Hill

Role of autophagy in the regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), invasion and metastasis in RAS mutated tumour

Yihua Wang

Devon Lewis

Interfaces with the nervous system for the control of neuroprostheses: bioinspired approaches using an insect model.

Phil Newland, David Simpson, Liudi Jiang

Pooja Khurana

The physiological and cellular mechanisms underlying adverse developmental programming.

Tom Fleming

Samah Zarroug

Associative learning in C.elegans.

Lindy Holden-Dye, Vincent O'Connor, Steven Glautier

Bradleigh Whitton

The investigation of the role of vacuolar type proton pump ATPases (V-ATPase) in prostate cancer.

Haruko Okamoto, Simon Crabb

Giedo Elamin

Microparticles involvement in the dynamics of thrombus formation and dissolution.

Nicola Englyst, John Holloway, Judith Holloway

Guilia Lioi

Developing a clinical measurement of depth of anaesthesia using brain connectivity measures.

Steven Bell, David Smith, David Simpson

James Coates

A platform for monitoring skin health

Andy Chipperfield, Geraldine Clough, John Tudor

Gaia Andreoletti

Interrogation of physiological pathways in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease using exome analysis.

Sarah Ennis, Andrew Collins, Mark Beattie

Sebastien Pollet

Cortical activity changes among stroke patients following robotic upper limb rehabilitation as measured by EEG during reach movements.

Jane Burridge, Bernard Conway, Brigitte Lavoie


Degree Awarded 


Project topic


Juan Nunez

Examining 3D blood vessel structures in bone during development, adulthood and disease using Synchrotron and Laboratory µCT analysis

Claire Clarkin, Ian Sinclair

Charles Hurdle

Multi-functional environmental sensing by CRYPTOCHROME in a Drosophila model

Herman Wijnen, Chris Jackson

Monika Kudelska

Generation of a screening platform for the Cys-loop superfamily of ligand gated ion channels.

Declan Doyle, Lindy Holden-Dye

Emilia Assar

Defining the cellular and molecular function of endocytic adaptors in membrane trafficking and cellular signalling

David Tumbarello, Katrin Deinhardt

Connor Maltby

Regulation of neuronal mRNA transport and protein synthesis by G-quadruplexes.

Mark Coldwell, Katrin Deinhardt

Tania Garcia Becarra

The Physiological role of G protein coupled receptor type G proteins (CTGs) in plants in response to stress

Lorraine Williams, Matthew Terry

Jemma Paterson

Not just skin deep: circulating lipids in a "localised" disease.

Tim Millar

Eleni Palaiologou

Three dimensional imaging of placental perivascular cell populations and their function.

Rohan Lewis, Jane Cleal, Christopher Torrens

Adam Dorey

Are GTGs a new class of anion channels regulating pH in the endomembrane system?

Lorraine Williams, Ita O'Kelly, Matthew Terry

Kerry Day (nee Gove)

Physiological measurements of small airways in COPD relates to functional changes seen in imaging and structural changes in MicroCT and can predict early disease pathology

Tom Wilkinson, Peter Howarth, Bruce Thompson

Andrew Hutton

Inflammation in the Airways: an ex vivo model

Jane Warner, Chris Pickard

Prutha Patel

Neuro Traffic: Oriented neuronal networks for investigating mechanisms of tau propagation.

Katrin Deinhardt, Jonathan West

Claire Simner

Does maternal vitamin D regulate placental amino acid transport and subsequent fetal growth?

Jane Cleal, Nicolas Harvey, Karen Lillycrop

Megan Sealey

How do aging processes contribute to Alzheimer's disease?

Amrit Mudher, Delphine Boche

Nicolas Dalliere

Neuropeptide-dependent plasticity of neuronal circuits that integrate feeding behaviour.

Lindy Holden-Dye, Vincent O'Connor

Emily Farthing

Dissecting pathways involved in manganese homeostasis in higher plants.

Lorraine Williams

Mel Jannaway

Modulators of airway and vascular smooth muscle contraction.

Tony Sampson, Jane Warner, Christopher Torrens

Przemyslaw Ociepa

Characterising the function of the rhamnogalacturonan II component of pectin during plant development

Alan Marchant

Lisa Jones

The impact of reduced pregnancy vitamin D status on offspring muscle development

Lucy Green, Kirstin Poore, Jane Cleal

Chrysia Pegasiou

Translating knowledge from mouse to human: How does amyloid beta affect synaptic function?

Maria Vargas-Caballero, Hugh Perry

Miguel Moreno

Control of Drosophila circadian behaviour by the RH01-signalling pathway

Herman Wijnen

Sophia Sander

Role of microRNAs in the physiological regulation of human stem cells.

Franchesca Houghton, Tilman Sanchez-Elsner

Alison Hill

Role of mechanical forces in the pathophysiology of asthma.

Christopher Grainge, Emily Swindle, Donna Davies

Alex Collcutt

Role of neuroinflammation in Tau pathology

Ayodeji Asuni, Jessica Teeling, Amrit Mudher

Alison Caldwell

Investigation of the molecular mechanisms behind immune escape and recognition of contagious cancers.

Hannah Siddle, Tim Elliott

Charlene Sibbons

Epigenetic regulation of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis.

Graham Burdge, Karen Lillycrop, Barbara Fielding, Margot Umpleby

Christine Reitmeyer 

Does diesel pollution impair learning and memory in the honey bee?

Tracey Newman, Robbie Girling

James Schofield 

Mechanisms of generation and functional significance of novel isoforms of the two-pore potassium channel family.

Mark Coldwell, Ita O'Kelly

Charlotte Lawrence 

Small molecule inhibitors of the tumour hypoxia response network.

Ali Tavassoli

Jessica Rajaram 

Role of the peptides of the renin-angiotensin system in lung physiology

Jane Warner, Allison-Lyn Andrews, Christopher Torrens

Nola Pickard (neé Adeosun) 

Cardioprotection mediated through green tea; synthesis and biological evaluation of modified epicatechin and epicatechin-3-gallate

Paul Townsend, Ali Tavassoli

Katherine Stubbs 

How does Wlds mediate protection in a Drosophila model of tauopathies?

Amritpal Mudher, Hugh Perry

Matthew Davies 

Neurodegeneration associated stress responses in an in vivo model of experimentally induced prion disease

Vincent O'Connor, Hugh Perry

Nancy Wong 

The physiological function of the GTG/GPHRs a highly conserved family

Neil Smyth, Lorraine Williams, Matthew Terry

Alison Yeomans (neé Donlevy) 

Using chemical probes to investigate redox regulation of of angiogenesis

Graham Packham, Mark Coldwell

Emma Lofthouse (neé Field) 

Transport, transfer and regulation: three key questions about placental transport

Rohan Lewis, Kirstin Poore, Mark Hanson

Kirstin Williamson 

How does the immune system interact with the increasing vulnerability of the ageing nervous system?

Amrit Mudher, Joel Parker, Lex Kraaijevald

Sarah Louise Williams 

Role of the two-pore domain potassium channel (K_2P 9.1) in colon cancer

Ita O'Kelly, Andrew Bateman

Raffaella Petruzelli 

Hypoxic regulation of human embryonic stem cell maintenance

Francesca Houghton

Louise Fairless 

Physiological aspects of roosting behaviour in vespertilionid bats.

Felix Eigenbrod, Patrick Doncaste,r Lex Kraaijeveld, Phil Newland

Rebecca Stead 

Role of the Mnks (protein kinases) in the regulation of protein synthesis

Chris Proud

Sam Collins 

The role of hypoxia and DNA mismatch repair in neuroblastoma multicellular spheroid formation

Jeremy Webb, Jeremy Blades

Aneta Rybka 

The physiological and molecular understanding of the role of STAT and HDAC proteins in cardiac cell hypertrophy

Paul Townsend

Pia Keskivali 

Acute statin treatment in a model of maternally induced endothelial dysfunction

Christopher Torrens, Nick Curzen, Geraldine Clough

Helga Groll 

The role of peripheral and central processing of olfactory information in a parasitoid's brain.

Guy Poppy, Phil Newland

Laura Roncorroni 

Binding partners for hK2P15.1, a background potassium channel

Ita O'Kelly, David Wilson

James Atherton 

Do endothelial microparticles predict defects in coagulation function after cardiac surgery

Nicola Englyst, Geraldine Clough, David Smith, Judith Holloway

Angela Cheung 

Cell culture: into the third dimension

Phil Newland, Liam Gray

Priscilla Day 

Transport across the human placenta

Rohan Lewis

Ayse Ismail 

Interactions between human embryonic stem cells and fetal femur-derived cell populations

Richard Oreffo

Olly Dewhirst 

Effectiveness of a Volterra model of the locust's hind leg reflex control loop in predicting its response to physiological input signals

Phil Newland, David Simpson, Neil White

Nik Rogers 

Determining the membrane aqueous border of a voltage gated potassium channel

Malcolm East, Tony Lee

Neil Roberts 

Human pancreas development the role and regulation of SOX9

Karen Piper-Hanley, Neil Hanley

Umar Sajjid 

Oxidative stress in Huntington's disease

Andreas Wyttenbach, Vincent O'Connor

Catherine Forristal 

Hypoxic regulation of human embryonic stem cells

Francesca Houghton

Shmma Quraishe 

Expression of the small heat shock protein chaperone family in the mouse CNS

Vincent O'Connor, Andreas Wyttenbach

Simone Holley 

Defects in executive function are associated with sleep disturbance in children of 6-12 years

Jim Stephenson

Sylvia Gaspar Pereira 

The role of NF-kB1 in the heart

Fiona Oakley, Paul Townsend

Rebecca Holloway 

The role of elastase as an inflammatory stimulus in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Jane Warner, Richard Foreman

Daniel Asby 

Normal human sexual differentiation in females is influenced by androgens

Neil Hanley

Cally Gill 

Proteomic analysis of interstitial fluid for novel markers of the early response to injury

Geraldine Clough, David O'Connor

Paula Costello 

The effect of maternal nutrition and body composition on the structure and function of skeletal muscle in the offspring.

Lucy Green, Mark Hanson

Mohinder Pal 

Protein mis-folding and human disease.

Jon Cooper

Michael James Blackney

Characterising Drosophila extracellular superoxide dismutase gene

David Shepherd, Joel Parker

Fiona Oakley 

Histidine stimulated trace metal uptake into human erythrocytes, HEL cells and HEL total RNA injected Xenopus laevis oocytes.

Niall Horn, Alan Thomas

Sarah Young 

The effect of diet on food preference and life history traits in Drosophila melanogaster.

David Shepherd, Philip Newland

Neil Ravenhill 

The biochemistry of serpin secretion: an investigation into the effects of mutant and corrective variants.

Richard Foreman

Cassie Richardson 

Awareness in Ageing.

Alexandra M. Hogan,Romola Bucks