Hamill Lab Members

Current lab members

Dr Kevin J Hamill

Senior Lecturer in Cell and Molecular Biology

BSc Biochemistry, University of Dundee. PhD Molecular Genetics, University of Dundee. CPS University of Liverpool

Kevin's research focuses on the molecular biology behind cell to matrix interaction; how the cellular environment influences cell and tissue function. Highlights include;

  • Discovery and characterisation of a new family of matrix proteins; the LaNts.
  • Identification of a hitherto unknown role for hemidesmosomal proteins in regulating how skin cells move.
  • Establishing a mechanistic link between the actinin protein family and hemidesmosome assembly.
  • Analysis of the importance in laminin fibronectin ratio in defining migration rates.

Other ongoing projects include research into transcription factor PAX6 roles in aniridia and potential new RNA therapeutics, RNA therapeutics targeting CTGF in glaucoma, analysis of corneal crosslinking in keratoconus, and sunscreen application habits

email: khamill@liverpool.ac.uk

phone: +44 (151) 794 9037

Dept of Eye and Vision Science,

WIlliam Henry Duncan Building

6 West Derby Street,

Liverpool, United Kingdom L7 8TX

Dr Valentina Barrera

Postdoctoral Research Associate

PhD Molecular Medicine, University of Turin. MSc Clinical Biology, University of Turin. BSc Clinical Biology, University of Turin.

As a postdoctoral research associate I'm interested in developing a portfolio of techniques and skills in malaria research as well as ophthalmology.

My current research focuses on dissecting the mechanisms behind LaNt - Laminin interactions and their implications for cell behaviour with particular emphasis on the roles of LaNts in blood vessel formation.

My previous work has defined the mechanisms of retinopathy in eye in Malawian children affected by cerebral malaria.

email: vbarrera@liverpool.ac.uk

Lee Troughton

PhD student

BSc University of Sunderland. MRes Clinical Sciences, University of Liverpool.

Lee joined the Hamill lab early in 2014 as part of his MRes studies, where he undertook 2x10 week projects looking at LaNt transcript regulation and function. After completing his degree Lee rejoined the lab as a PhD student funded by the British Skin Foundation and supervised by Dr Hamill and Professor Colin Willoughby. His project is investigating LaNts in skin wound repair and skin cancer at the functional level. In addition he has generated interesting, exciting, data on LaNt transcript regulation.

email: leedavid@liverpool.ac.uk

Fundraising for British Skin Foundation and practising his model poses at the same time.

Karen Lester

PhD student

BSc Pharmacy, University College Dublin

Karen is an NC3R funded PhD student who started her studies in October 2014 under the supervision of Prof Colin Willoughby with input from Drs Hamill, Sheridan and Choudray. Karen's research is into unraveling the molecular mechanisms driving the progression of glaucoma.

email: karenlea@liverpool.ac.uk

Thanos Papadimitropoulos

PhD student

BSc Molecular Biology (Portsmouth, UK), MSc Biotechnology (Patra, Greece)

Thanos joined the Hamill lab in January 2017 to pursue a Fight for Sight funded PhD investigating the mechanisms and potential new therapy for the ocular disorder Aniridia. Aniridia is caused by mutation in the transcription factor protein Pax6. Thanos aims to determine if a new way to rescue expression in patients can be developed

Thanos joins the lab after productive spells as research assistant in a couple of labs at the university of Liverpool and he brings a wealth of experience to the team.

Email: thanos@liverpool.ac.uk

Thanos is supervised by Dr Kevin Hamill, Prof Colin Willoughby and Dr Sajjad Ahmad (Moorefields eye hospital, London)

Shao-Hsuan Chang

Shao is a PhD student under the supervision of Prof Ahmed Elsheikh (Biomaterial Mechanics), Prof Colin Willoughby and Dr Hamill. Her research focuses of the corneal disorder keratoconus (cone shaped cornea) . Shao's research looks at the structural, biomechanical and biological changes induced by current treatments for keratoconus with the goal of discovering how they work and therefore improve the design of future therapeutic interventions.

email: changsh@liverpool.ac.uk

Conro Sugden

PhD student

Conro is a Crossley Barnes bequest funded PhD student working on alveolar basement membranes and the roles of laminin networks in stretch signalling/fibrosis.

Conro also carried out two MRes projects in the Hamill lab

He is supervised by Dr Hamill, Prof Bou Gharios, Dr Takakao Sasaki and Dr Marina Anderson

John Knox

PhD student

JohnJohn is a PhD student jointly supervised by Profs Willoughby, Bou Gharios and Dr Hamill and supported by funding from Fight For Sight

His works investigates the role of the connective tissue growth factor protein in glaucoma with the goal of developing an RNA based therapeutic intevention

Liam Shaw

PhD student

Liam Shaw is a BBSRC doctoral training program supported PhD student with a supervisory team of Dr Hamill and Prof Rachel WIlliams (University of Liverpool) and Prof Roy Quinlan at the University of Durham.

Liam's project involves investigating the implications of laminin network assembly status on a variety of cell and matrix functions using the rare genetic disorder Pierson syndrome as a model. Liam also did a MRes project in the Hamill lab, you can read about that via the blog post link below.

Former lab members

Dr Valentina Iorio

(Former) PhD student in the Hamill lab

BSc Biotechnology, Second University of Naples. MSc Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, University of Siena.

Valentina joined the Hamill lab right at the start, in November 2013, thanks to PhD studentship funding from the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease. Her research focused on the protein LaNt alpha31 and its role in corneal epithelial cells where she identified that too much LaNt protein stops cell migration by changing the way that laminins deposited by cells are organised.

Valentina passed her viva and graduated with her PhD in 2017

email: viorio@liverpool.ac.uk

Valentina posing with her thesis- submitted April 2017
Valentina's wedding day
Dr Umar Sharif, post doc
Olutobi Oyewole MRes student
MRes student Madalina Carter-Timofte and Katie Ryan
MRes students Siyin Liu (L), Aya Adam (middle) and Farhannah Basheer (R)

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