our people
Hiro Ohkura
Hiro Ohkura(group leader)
Hiro obtained his PhD from Kyoto University, Japan in 1990 under the supervision of Prof Mitsuhiro Yanagida. After a postdoc in Prof David Glover's lab in Dundee University, he started his lab in 1997 at The University of Edinburgh. He has been a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow since 1997. He is also one of the founding members of The Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology. In 2008, he was appointed as Professor of Cell Biology.
Alex McDonnell
Alex McDonnell(research assistant)
Alex obtained his integrated Master's degree in Biochemistry from Newcastle University in 2017. He performed his Master's project in the Northern Institute for Cancer Research in which he explored interactions between specific cell cycle coordinators and transcription factors, and their role in acute leukaemia. He then worked at the Medical Research Council in Harwell before joining the Ohkura Lab in October 2017 as a Research Assistant. In his free time he enjoys hiking and rock climbing, as well as playing the guitar and the penny whistle.
Jule Nieken
Jule Nieken(PhD student)
Jule obtained her degree in biochemistry from Tubingen University (Germany) in 2016. She completed her Master's studies with an external thesis in Munich where she worked on miRNA regulation in model aneuploid cell lines. Following her studies, she then joined the research group of Dr. Sander Granneman for an internship with Erasmus. In October 2017 she started her PhD studies funded by the Darwin Trust in Hiro Ohkura's lab with a focus on karyosome formation in Drosophila oocytes. She prefers to spend most of her spare time with friends but also likes to go jogging, swimming and cycling.
Verdiana Steccanella
Verdiana Steccanella(postdoc)
Verdiana obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Copenhagen in 2016. From October 2017 she has joined the Hiro Ohkura's lab as a Postdoc and is involved in studying proteins that might have a specific role in microtubule regulation and female meiosis in Drosophila. Outside the lab, Verdiana enjoys reading, being outdoor and whatever involves baking and cooking.
Kathryn O'Brien
Kathryn O'Brien(research assistant)
Kathryn obtained her MSc in Complex Trait Human Genetics from the University of Edinburgh in 2015, she then worked as a Research Technician for Chronos Therapeutics, a small spin-off company from the University of Oxford. She joined the Ohkura lab in January 2017 as a Research Assistant and is involved in a large scale RNAi screen. She enjoys going on cycling trips and playing ukulele.
Pedro Silva
Pedro Silva(PhD student)
Pedro obtained his master degree in Biochemistry from the University of Porto in 2015. He did his master thesis at CNRS, Paris based on regulation of DNA replication in xenopus. In 2016, he then joined Zanin group at the LMU, Munich, to study spatial and temporal regulation of cytokinesis in c. elegans and mammalian cells. From October 2016 he has joined Hiro Okhura lab as a PhD student funded by Darwin Trust to work on female meiosis of Drosophila.
Charlotte Repton
Charlotte Repton(PhD student)
Charlotte graduated with honours from the University of Edinburgh in 2013, with a major in Molecular Genetics. From 2013 to June 2016, she then worked as a Post-Graduate Research Assistant in Sarah Reece's group, investigating the population dynamics and evolution of malaria parasites. Following this, in the summer of 2016, she worked on gallwasp genomics in Graham Stone's lab. In October 2016, she took up a PhD in Hiro Ohkura's lab, studying spindle-associated proteins in female meiosis. She is funded by EAST-BIO (BBSRC). Outside of her research, she enjoys playing music and volunteers with the Brownie Guides.
Mariana Costa
Mariana Costa(PhD student)
Mariana graduated from University of Oporto, Portugal in 2011, with a major in Biochemistry. In 2013 she obtained her master degree also in Biochemistry in the same institution, studying the neurophysiology of the nociceptive system. From February 2014 she joined Hiro Ohkura's lab as a PhD student, funded by the Wellcome Trust. Currently, she is working on female meiosis of Drosophila, focusing on microtubule establishment. Besides playing handball, Mariana also likes to run outdoor, travelling and spending time with friends and family.
Pierre Rome
Pierre Rome(postdoc)
Pierre did his PhD in Rennes, France, within Regis Giet's team. Pierre has studied the phosphoregulation of MAPs which appear to be required in the mitotic spindle assembly in Drosophila somatic cells. Pierre has joined Hiro Ohkura's lab in 2012 to elucidate a new pathway that might have a specific role in the meiotic spindle assembly in Drosophila oocytes.
Emma Peat
Emma Peat(technician)
Emma has worked in technical positions in the NHS and Dundee and Edinburgh Universities. After leaving employment to have her family, she has since returned to work in the Ohkura Lab providing technical support. Emma's hobbies include fossil hunting, fish keeping and cake making as well as volunteering for a local youth group.
Fiona Cullen
Fiona Cullen(research assistant)
Fiona joined the Ohkura lab when he became independent in 1997, and previously worked in David Glover's lab in Dundee as a general assistant. She has worked on numerous different projects using yeast and Drosophila, and at present is working on female meiosis in Drosophila.

Former members of the lab

Ricardo (Oxford Nanoimaging, Oxford)

Mila (University of Bonn)

Robin (Edinburgh University)

Manuel (Journal of Cell Science)

Sophie (Universite de Rennes, France)

Ponsit (Prince of Songkhla University, Thailand)

Elvira (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris)

Sara (Edinburgh University)

Agata (Edinburgh University)

Karolina (Merk, Glasgow)

Heather (Edinburgh University)

Sally (Melbourne University)

Nathalie (Toulouse University)

Heather (Edinburgh University)

Benjamin (Wilmer Innovation Center, Singapore)

Ana (Stanford University)

Oscar (Medical training King College London)

Neil (NHS clinical scientist)

Nick (Cambridge University)

Amy (Sheffield University)

Anne (Livingstone)

Nicola (Edinburgh University)

Sarah (Glasgow)

David (Lonza Biologics, Berkshire)

Karen (Edinburgh University)

Anne (QuintilesIMS, Tronto)

Nicola (Cambridge University)

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