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.




James McCaffrey (MRC Clinical training fellow):

James is attempting to understand mechanisms underlying the protective effects of glucocorticoid therapy on the kidney filtration barrier. He is using a combination of ChIP-Seq, transciptome and proteomic analysis, coupled with in vivo validation using our colony of Cre+ Gr fl/fl mice. This project is funded by the Medical Research Council.



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.



Sophie Collinson (Intercalating Masters of Research):

Sophie is a 4th year medical student at the University of Manchester currently intercalating in a Masters of Research. She has a keen interest in renal medicine and chose to work with the Lennon team to increase her exposure to all aspects of the field. This year she will be expanding on our current work regarding glomerular basement nephropathy by working with serial block-face scanning electron microscopy images (SBF-SEM) and creating 3D models to identify morphological features common to primary glomerular disease. Sophie was awarded both a Wolfson award and a Kidney Research UK intercalation award to complete this work.