Wilson Society

Research

Are you interested in what some of Sidney’s fellows are researching? Have a quick look and see. There is also a link at the bottom to take you to the fellow’s research page.

Dr Rose Thorogood: In behavioural ecology, we study how behaviour evolves and is shaped by natural selection. However, in the face of rapid environmental change, animals often do best if they can change their behaviour accordingly. How do individuals evolve behaviour that is flexible, and what are the consequences of changes in one species behaviour for others? I research co-evolution: the actions of one species have evolutionary consequences for another, and I test how birds, in particular, acquire information about their environment to modify their behaviour. I am most interested in the evolutionary consequences of information use in the interactions between cuckoos (brood parasites) and their hosts, and predators and their prey, with a second important goal of using information ecology theory to solve conservation problems.

http://www.informedbirds.com

Dr Chris Doran: I currently hold the post of Research Enablement and Entrepreneur in Residence in ARM Research, a role I took up in 2015. Prior to that position I was Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Geomerics, a company developing graphics technology for computer games. Geomerics’ technology has been used in over 50 titles, including the award-winnning Battlefield and Need for Speed series. You can find out more about this at www.geomerics.com

I have over 15 years experience in research in applied mathematics and theoretical physics. I am the author of a major book on geometry and physics and of over 50 academic papers. I have Directed Studies in Physics or Sidney Sussex since 1999.

Dr Amalio Fernandez-Pacheco: The Information Technology over the last few decades has been made possible due to the continuous downscaling of integrated circuits and storage devices. However, current high computing performance is accompanied with an exponential increase in power consumption, with serious implications for the environment. My research focuses on investigating more efficient mechanisms to store information using Nanotechnology and magnetic materials. Specifically, I use circuits formed by magnetic nanowires, where long bit sequences can be stored, and moved very efficiently using electrical currents. To fabricate and characterise these systems, I normally use electron microscopes and lasers.

Dr Erika Eiser: Dr. Erika Eiser is Reader in Experimental Soft Matter Physics (Cavendish Laboratory) working on the self-assembly of colloidal systems. In particular she focuses on DNA functionalized colloids, where DNA can be used as a specific binding agent that can be designed to build higher order structures. Applications are photonic materials and nanoporouse electrode materials for a new generation of rechargeable batteries. Presently, her research group is made of 8 PhD students and one postdoctoral researcher. While most of her students use advanced microscopy techniques for structural and dynamic-property analysis she closely collaborated with simulators and other experimentalists around the world.

Professor Sir Tom Blundell: Tom Blundell continues to research on molecular, structural and computational biology of growth factors, receptor activation, signal transduction and DNA repair, important in cancer, tuberculosis and familial diseases. His main focus at present is on DNA double-strand-break responses and repair. He has also published many widely used software packages for protein modelling and design. Recently his group is focusing on the effects of mutations on protein stability and interactions (SDM & mCSM). His group has produced computer programs (mCSM-lig) and databases to predict the affects of mutations on small-molecule binding, relevant to antibiotic resistance.

Tom has developed new approaches to structure-guided and fragment-based drug discovery. In 1999 he co-founded Astex Therapeutics, an oncology company that has eight drugs in clinical trials and that was sold in 2013 as Astex Pharma to Otsuka for $886 million. In parallel in the University of Cambridge he has developed structure-guided fragment-based approaches to drug discovery for difficult targets involving multiprotein systems and protein-protein interactions for the Met receptor and DNA double-strand break repair Rad51-Brca2 complexes, based on his basic research programmes. He has also been targeting ~10 Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins as part of the Gates HIT-TB and EU-FP7 MM4TB consortia, including structural and biochemical studies of resistance mutations to first line drugs.

Natural Science Fellow’s Research