Former lab members

Dylan Bergen (2012- 2017) was part of our Wellcome Trust 4 Year PhD Programme in Dynamic Cell biology. Dylan worked jointly between the Stephens, Hammond, and Verkade labs  on the mechanisms of extracellular matrix secretion and ciliogenesis, particularly in terms of the function of giantin in these processes. His work integrated our cell-based approaches with further zebrafish work to define the links between secretory pathway function and these critical developmental processes. He has moved on to work on genome wide association studies of osteoarthritis through a Discipline Hopping Fellowship funded by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research (via our Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support funding).

Ash Evans (2014- 2017) worked towards his PhD on a collaborative basis between the Stephens and Henley labs. Based almost entirely in the Henley lab, his work dissected mechanisms of membrane trafficking in neuronal cells, applying the experience of the Stephens lab in membrane and cytoskeletal dynamics to the trafficking of neuronal receptors.

Vicky Miller (2012-2015) joined the lab from Dani Ungar’s lab in York. There she worked on COG complex function at the Golgi and worked in the lab on the organization of ER export in mammalian cells using the knock sideways system and RNAi of COPII components, notably TFG.

Anna Townley (2004-2014) worked in the lab for a total of 10 years including career break to have her first child. Anna contributed to almost all projects in the lab as can be seen by her contribution to our published work.

Sylvie Hunt (2009-2014) completed her PhD using advanced imaging techniques to study the role of microtubule-based motors in membrane trafficking. Sylvie completed the last segment of her PhD working part time after the birth of her daughter.

Rachel Ambler (2014) worked in the lab on rotation as part of our Wellcome Trust Programme in Dynamic Cell Biology. Rachel is now working towards her PhD in Christoph Wuelfing’s lab in Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

David Asante (2010-2014) was a PhD student in the lab working on ciliogenesis in mammalian cells. David previously did a Masters at Oxford Brookes. He will defend his thesis this summer and has moved on to the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit (Harwell) to work with Dominic Norris on the role of polycystin proteins in cilia.

Dawid Walas (2011) joined the lab in October for his first rotation as a PhD student on our Wellcome Trust Programme in Dynamic Cell Biology.

Helen Hughes (2006-2010) was a BBSRC-funded PhD student looking at the the role of Sec16 in the function of the COPII complex. Helen joined after completing her BSc in Biochemistry in Bristol. Helen has now graduated and is currently working in clinical trials administration for the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust.

Katy Schmidt (2007-2010) joined the lab in November 2007 to work as a postdoc working on the role of Sec16 in COPII assembly She joined us from a slightly unusual background (for us!) following a PhD with Prof. Dr. Michael Wegner at the Institut für Biochemie at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and postdoctoral work with Prof. Cheryl Tickle at the University of Dundee. We are very much hoping that Katy’s developmental biology background provided us with a new insight into some of our molecular cell biology approaches.

Annika Budnik (2007-2010) completed her PhD in 2010 and is now on her way travelling for a few months. Annika went on to work as a postdoc position back in Germany at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. She is now working in clinical trials management and we wish her every success in the future.

Matt Gallon (2011) did his third rotation as a PhD student on our Wellcome Trust Programme in Dynamic Cell Biology.

Alex Shepherd (2010) did her first rotation with us as a PhD student on our Wellcome Trust Programme in Dynamic Cell Biology.

Lucy MacCarthy-Morrogh (2010) worked in the lab for 9 months on ciliogenesis in mammalian cells before moving on to a further postdoc in our department with Kate Nobes.

Fred Boal (2007- 2010) was a BBSRC-funded postdoc investigating the role of Arf-GEFs in membrane traffic and looking to develop novel inhibitors of membrane trafficking patwhays based on Arf/Arf-GEF interactions. Fred moved on to a further postdoc in our department with Jeremy Tavare.

Gayle Bishop (2010) was a British Society for Cell Biology-funded undergraduate summer student and returned to the final year of her degree at the University of Birmingham.

Graham Britton (2008) undertook a rotation project in the lab for 3 months; this, the first of his three rotation projects as part of Graham’s PhD on on our Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD Programme in Dynamic Cell Biology, was highly successful and made a great contribution to our ongoing work.

Krysten Palmer (2001- 2009) was a PhD student and postdoc in the lab. Krysten did her first degree in Southampton and has just completed her PhD thesis (in David’s lab in Bristol) and most recently worked on the role of dynein subunits in specific membrane trafficking steps. She moved on to work on intellectual property rights.

Agnieszka Konopacka (2008- ) worked in the lab for three months developing the work started by Vijay Gupta. She has now moved on to a postdoc position in David Murphy’s lab in the molecular neuroendocrinology department of Clinical Science at South Bristol.

Sabine Kossmann (2009) was working alongside Fred to determine more funcitonal detail on the role of the large ARF-GEFs in secretory pathway function. This project formed part of her Masters at the University of Bielefeld, Germany.

Anna Antoniou (2008) undertook a summer studentship in the lab funded by the Nuffield foundation. While working alongside Fred, she made some key contributions to our chemical biology work and has now rejoined the Britol Biochemistry degree course for her final year. .

Vijay Gupta (2006-2008) left the lab to join the lab of Bill Balch at the Scripps in California. Vijay was a postdoc in the lab funded by a Royal Society International Incoming Fellowship (India). Vijay joined the lab following completion of his PhD in the lab of Dr Ghanshyam Swarup at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, India.

Pete Watson (2003-2007) was a postdoc who formerly worked in the labs of Mike Lord and Lynne Roberts at the University of Warwick. Pete’s expertise in cell imaging led to a great number of publications from the lab and he wass instrumental in the integration of electron microscopy techniques in to our light microscopy imaging approaches. Pete has now taken up an RCUK fellowship in the Division of Biosciences at the University of Cardiff (click to see images of Pete during his farewell bash). He can be contacted directly via email:

Jo Konkel (summer student, 2003): After her degree in the Biochemistry department at the University of Bristol, Jo went on to a PhD at the University of Edinburgh.

Stuart Griffiths (summer student, 2002): went on to a PhD studentship at Cancer Research UK in London and is now Head of Research Innovation at the Breast Cancer Campaign.

Pratyusha Koka (research visitor, 2005-2006) worked in the lab for six months before taking up a technical post with the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (also known as the “Children of the 90’s” project).