THE TEAM

Meet the team

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr Clare Davies 

PhD, B.Med.Sc

Reader in Cancer Cell Biology

I completed my PhD in Cancer Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK, and have ever since been interested in understanding how post-translational modification of proteins contributes to malignant progression. I first came across the wonderful world of arginine methylation during my post-doctoral position at the CRUK-London Research Institute (now The Crick) in the lab of Dr. Axel Behrens studying c-Jun-mediated gene expression, and then moved to The University of Manchester to work with Dr. Cathy Tournier on mouse models of breast, skin and pancreatic cancer. I was awarded a Birmingham Fellow in 2012 to start my own research group at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and was promoted to Reader in 2019. I really enjoy mentoring the younger members of the team, and in my spare time can be found in the gym sweating and singing along to a Les Mills class, hiking up a mountain, or planning my next big travel tip abroad. Dogs are by far my favourite animal!

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

Dr Kelly Chiang

PhD, BSc

After completing a PhD at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester, I moved to the University of Glasgow to begin my foray into the infinite world of epigenetics. I continued this journey after moving to the University of Birmingham where I currently work on the role of arginine methylation in the regulation of breast cancer stem cells, which has also allowed me to dabble part-time in bioinformatics. Outside the lab, I prefer science of a different nature - one which usually results in a more tasty endpoint than pouring an SDS-PAGE gel.

Dr Soo Youn Choi

PhD, MSc

I obtained my MSc in Genetic Engineering and PhD in Biochemistry from Seoul National University in South Korea. After my first postdoctoral training in MRC-PPU (MRC -Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitination Unit, University of Dundee), I joined the lab to conduct research focusing on the functions of PRMT5 in breast cancer. I like all kinds of art form, love visiting art galleries and theatres. Actually that is why I like science most as it is like a journey to understand the art of nature.

RESEARCH TECHNICIANS

Karan Sharma

Research Technician

PhD STUDENTS

I studied Biomedical Science at King's College London as an undergraduate. In order to further my interest in cancer research I chose to do a MSc at the University of Leicester in the Molecular Pathology and Therapeutics of Cancer. I joined The Davies Lab in 2019 as a Research Technician, and its been great. My research within The Davies Lab focuses on the function of PRMTs in breast cancer. I am also working on FXR1 and the DNA damage response.  In my spare time I love watching and playing cricket. I also like music and most art forms. 

Lizzie Dufficy

iCASE Astra Zeneca BBSRC Studentship

Matthew Gillespie

UoB PhD Studentship

I obtained my Cancer Sciences M.Res. in the Davies Lab before moving on to a Wellcome Trust funded Research Assistant position at Cambridge University. Following this I had the opportunity to return to the Davies Lab to undertake a PhD. My research interests include molecular mechanisms involved in the DNA damage response, the arginine methyltransferase PRMT5 and breast cancer. Outside of work I love to paint and am a keen runner. Last year I ran The Great North Run to raise money for Alzheimers Society. Dogs are also my favourite animal!

I read Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Strathclyde during which I specialised in Biochemistry gaining my M.Sci. in 2018. I am now studying for a PhD in Cancer and Genomic Sciences where I aim to understand how arginine methylation helps breast cancer stem cells repair their DNA and also resist chemoradiotherapy. In my free time I enjoy playing sports like football and golf and going for walks up the Scottish glens with my dog Cassie. 

James Jarrold

UoB PhD Studentship

After acquiring a BSc in Genetics from the University of Leeds in 2013, I chose to further my research interests by taking an M.Sc. in Cancer Research and Molecular Biomedicine at the University of Manchester the following year. I joined The Davies Lab in 2016 to embark on a PhD with a specific interest in epigenetic contributions to the cancer phenotype. Outside of work I enjoy learning and listening to music, going to the gym and following football and mixed martial arts.

Nicole Mcfadzean

MIBTP BBSRC PhD Studentship

I studied Veterinary Biosciences at the University of Glasgow as an undergraduate. I then worked as a research assistant on a Humanimal Trust project aiming to develop a test that could diagnose and monitor cancers through circulating tumour DNA. My PhD included a training year to learn statistics and bioinformatics skills and my research within the Davies Lab focuses on investigating the recruitment of PRMTs to sites of DNA damage and the roles of histone arginine methylation within the DNA damage response. In my spare time I enjoy listening to and playing music as well as meeting up with friends.

VISITING PhD STUDENTS

Krystian Ubych

School of Chemisty PhD student, UoB (with Dr. Rob Neely)

I have graduated from the University of Warsaw (Poland) where I completed my masters in Chemistry and Physics. I was always passionate about the interdisciplinary research hence my master project in Chemistry was at the interface of chemistry and biophysics and was focused on studies of the synthetic analogues of 5’-end of mRNA (cap) and RNA decapping enzymes (Prof. Jacek Jemielity). In 2016, I joined the groups of Dr. Robert Neely and Dr. Francisco Fernandez-Trillo (University of Birmingham) as a PhD student and was involved in studies of DNA methylation using a combination of organic chemistry, enzyme-based methods and fluorescence imaging. During this time, I got an opportunity to explore the epigenetics of cancer thanks to collaboration with Dr. Clare Davies’ group. Currently, I continue applying novel methods to study the epigenetics of cancer. In my spare time I enjoy playing piano, video games and tennis.

VISITING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Fiona Black

Placement Student (Cardiff University)

I am an undergraduate student studying Biological Sciences at Cardiff University. As part of my degree I have taken a professional training year away from University, working in The Davies Lab doing an independent project on FXR1 and the DNA damage response. I have learnt loads from working in a professional lab, including expanding my experience of presenting, reading research papers, and lots of different lab techniques. In my free time I enjoy playing the piano and doing crafts.