Sam Griffiths-Jones (PI)
Sam moved to the University of Manchester to start his independent group in 2007. He was previously a postdoc in Alex Bateman’s group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where he first got excited about non-protein-coding RNAs. He applied this excitement to generating resources for non-coding RNA research, and annotating RNA genes in complete genomes. The SGJlab at Manchester has a broad interest in structure, function and evolution of non-protein-coding RNAs, but currently spends most time thinking about microRNAs. He likes to cycle when he can.
Ana Kozomara (postdoc — 2009-present)
Ana has been the mistress of miRBase, the microRNA database, since 2009. When the database and website works well, it’s due to her efforts. When it doesn’t, it’s Sam’s fault. She is funded by the miRBase BBSRC grant.
Steven Woods (PhD student — 2012-present)
Steven is a BBSRC-funded PhD student, jointly supervised by Sue Crosthwaite. He is interested in whether splicing of mRNAs and non-coding RNAs in the fungal model Neurospora crassa might be regulated by light. Steven has been generating and analysing RNAseq datasets, and validating his predictions and observations in the lab.
Vikki Coyne (PhD student — 2012-present)
Vikki is a BBSRC-funded PhD student, who came to us from the exotic city of Liverpool. Her work is driven by genetic approaches to study long non-coding RNAs in the Hox complex of insects, carried out in Matt Ronshaugen’s lab in Manchester. She occasionally enjoys the opportunity to work with us dry types to use computational approaches to understand the conservation and evolution of her candidate Hox lncRNAs.
Tom Bleazard (PhD student — 2013-present)
Tom is an MRC-funded student, jointly supervised by Janine Lamb in the Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research. He is working on using small RNA deep sequencing to characterise microRNAs that are associated with autism. He has a strong maths and stats background, and is currently highlighting flaws in methods that identify enriched GO terms in microRNA target sets. Tom is possibly the most travelled SGJlab member, coming to us from a Masters in South Korea, where he also taught English.
Maria Ninova (PhD student — 2011-2014)
Maria was a Wellcome Trust-funded PhD student. She was most interested in the evolution and expression of microRNAs across developmental timecourses, in Drosophila melanogaster, D. virilis, and the beetle Tribolium castaneum. She split her time fairly equally between computational analyses and wet lab work (in collaboration with Matt Ronshaugen in Manchester), and is particularly skilled at making beautiful images of microRNA in-situ expression profiles. When we’ve finished writing up the papers, she is very likely to beat Toni’s record for number of publications from the lab. In Jan 2015, Maria started as a Postdoc in Alexei Aravin’s lab at Caltech.
Yamini Arthanari (postdoc — 2011-2014)
Yamini’s postdoc was jointly supervised by Sue Crosthwaite, and funded by the Leverhulme Trust. She investigated the prevalance of antisense RNA transcription in the fungus Neurospora crassa using a mix of RNAseq data analysis and wet lab follow-up. She now has a industry postdoc position at AstraZeneca where she is working on long non-coding RNAs and their potential to be used as biomarkers for drug sensitivity in cancer cell line models. During her 3 years with us, Yamini was never spotted with a frown on her face.
Antonio Marco (postdoc — 2009-2013)
Toni was a BBSRC-funded postdoc, and then he held a Stepping Stone Fellowship funded by a Wellcome Trust Institutional Fund award. Toni worked on microRNA evolution and analysis of small RNA deep sequencing data, and holds the current record for number of papers published from the lab! He now has a lecturer position at the University of Essex, where he is studying the evolution of gene regulatory networks, and regulatory RNAs, both using the model fly Drosophila melanogaster.
Kasia Hooks (PhD student — 2009-2013)
Kasia’s PhD was funded by the Wellcome Trust. She combined computational prediction with wet lab validation (in collaboration with Daniela Delneri’s lab in Manchester) to study intronic RNA structures and intron evolution in fungi. She now holds an IdEx Fellowship at the University of Bordeaux, where she is investigating the potential of microRNAs as markers and therapeutic targets in the rare paediatric cancer hepatoblastoma, and desperately trying to learn her 4th language.
Aaron Webber (PhD student — 2009-2013)
Aaron is an ex-mathematician, coming to a PhD via the Manchester MSc in Bioinformatics. His work was mostly concerned with understanding the regulatory factors (transcription and epigenetic) that regulate the expression of microRNAs. His ultimate aim was to investigate regulatory networks involving these factors and microRNAs. Aaron moved on to a Postdoc in Andy Sharrocks’ lab in Manchester.
Hubert Rogers (PhD student — 2008-2011)
Hubert joined us as a PhD student after completing the Faculty of Life Science’s Bioinformatics MSc programme. He studied the birth-and-death evolution of the tRNA multigene family, switches in tRNA gene aminoacylation identity, and the pseudogene legacy of mitochondrial invasions of the nuclear genome. After his PhD, Hubert entered the emerging field of ‘data science’. Now he applies machine learning algorithms for modelling and analysis of commercial data, and makes interactive apps for data visualization.