Current members of the group


Stephanie Murphy (Research technician):

Stephanie is currently developing an in vitro model of the glomerular filtration barrier (GFB). She is culturing cell sheets and allowing the cells to create their own matrix between two cell monolayers. The aim is to build a co-culture system, which resembles the glomerular capillary wall. This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.




Michael Randles (Post-doctoral research assistant):

Michael is currently studying Alport syndrome, which is caused by dysregulation of the extracellular matrix within the kidney filtration barrier. Accordingly, he is using proteomics and imaging techniques to understand disease mechanisms in Alport syndrome. This project is funded by Kidney Research UK.



Maryline Fresquet (Research assistant):

Maryline is investigating membranous nephropathy (MN), an autoimmune disease where patients have circulating antibodies, which react with a podocyte receptor (PLA2R) resulting in proteinuria. In this project Maryline identified where anti-PLA2R binds to the receptor and is now testing the effects of this autoantibody on podocytes in a cell culture model. Maryline has particular expertise in a variety of structural/biophysics techniques ranging from light scattering, surface plasmon resonance, analytical ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy. This project is funded by Kidney Research UK.



Salman Hosawi (PhD student):

Salman is aiming to provide a global proteomic analysis of insulin actions in insulin responsive or insulin resistant podocytes. He will be isolating the insulin receptor complexes from both conditions using co-immunoprecipitations and in situ immunoprecipitations for mass spectrometry analysis. The potential outcomes of Salman’s work can provide a valuable resource for protein-protein interactions and events from an insulin signalling point of view, and could also reveal potential candidates for therapeutic purposes. This project is funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



Franziska Lausecker (PhD student):

Franziska aims to analyse the role of focal adhesions in maintaining the integrity of the glomerular filtration barrier. To do this, she is characterising a podocyte specific knockout mouse model. After isolating primary podocytes, cell behaviour is studied using advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques, protein and RNA analyses and ECIS. Her studies will provide new insights into the mechanisms of how podocytes react to applied forces. This project is funded by Kids Kidney Research.



Rebecca Kirkwood-Wilson

Rebecca is an Academic Clinical Fellow investigating membranous nephropathy in children. In this project, Rebecca has determined serum anti-PLA2R status and examined immune complex deposition in renal biopsy tissue from a cohort of children with membranous nephropathy. Additionally, Rebecca is studying Lowe syndrome, a rare kidney disease caused by OCRL1 mutation. By using proteomics and imaging techniques, Rebecca is investigating the effects of OCRL1 mutation on podocyte structure and function. 



Past members of the group:

Sophie Collinson 2014-15 (Intercalating Masters of Research)

James McCaffrey 2011-2015 (MRC Clinical Training Fellow)

Christine Chew 2014 (Academic Clinical Fellow)

Hitesh Khanna 2013-14 (Intercalating Masters of Research)

Hellyeh Hamidi 2011-2013 (Post doctoral Research Assistant)

Emma Kennard 2013 (Undergraduate medical student project option)

Thomas Denny 2011-2012 (MPhil)

Rebecca Kirkwood Wilson 2012 (Undergraduate medical student project option)

Jessica Ball 2011-12 (Intercalating Pathology BSc- Wolfson award)

Greg Lee 2010 (Undergraduate medical student project option)

James Peters 2010 (Undergraduate medical student project option)