Current Role

I currently work in the Manchester centre for genomic medicine as a clinical bioinformatician, working with NGS platforms and developing tools and pipelines to support clinical services as well as research.


BSc (Hons) Biology. University of Manchester 1999-2002
MSc Bioinformatics. University of Manchester 2002-2003
PhD Biochemistry. University of Manchester 2004-2008
Research Associate 2008-2011

Research Interests

Evolution of Protein Structure

The complex constraints imposed by protein structure and function result in varied rates of sequence and structural divergence in proteins. Analysis of sequence differences between homologous proteins can advance our understanding of structural divergence and some of the constraints that govern the evolution of these molecules. It is likely that with further understanding of evolutionary constraints, accurate predictions of both past and future protein evolution may be possible.

Molecular Evolution of HIV-1

Using models of evolution based on the physical and physicochemical constraints imposed by the protein structure it may be possible to predict the likely amino acid substitutions that may occur in viable HIV-1 molecules. Incorporation of functional and immunological constraints would permit prediction of viral evolution that is both significant to the immune response and increasingly accurate and may be useful in vaccine development.

Identifying determinants of specificity in yeast protein complexes

The evolution and specificity of interaction interfaces is of great importance in understanding individual complexes as well as the interaction network as a whole. Homologous proteins sharing ~25-30% sequence identity are likely to have similar binding interfaces and modes of interaction but the exact determinants of specificity are poorly understood. Binding specificity correlates poorly with overall sequence diversity and divergence at the interface is likely to be more important in mediating specificity. I am interested in characterising the determinants of specificity in protein-protein interactions using Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces bayanus.


  • Williams SG and Lovell SC.
    The effect of sequence evolution on protein structural divergence.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution (2009) 26 1055-1065