Academic Team

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Esther is a Research Fellow in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences. She studied Medical Biology at the University of Amsterdam, before embarking on her PhD in Cell & Developmental Biology at Harvard University. In 2006, she came to Oxford as a post-doctoral fellow and in 2011 she started her own group as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow. Her work aims to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate brain development and how the impairment of these mechanisms leads to brain dysfunction.

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Gail’s research group uses multi-disciplinary approaches to understand the molecular mechanisms used by infectious microorganisms to colonise host tissues and the impact of environmental factors on disease development. Her research group is based in the Department of Plant Sciences. She completed her PhD at Cornell University and was subsequently awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, which she held from 2001-2009.

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Charlotte has a wide range of research interests concerning protein structure prediction and protein interaction networks, combining both theoretical work and empirical analyses. Originally a Chemist she has moved across many traditional research disciplines and her research group is now based in Statistics. Charlotte completed her PhD in Cambridge and after a Wellcome trust fellowship in California she returned to Oxford as a University Lecturer in 2002.

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David has been in Oxford since 1986. He established and leads the Computational Biology Group and was appointed Professor of Computational Biology in 2004. In 2002, David was awarded substantial EPSRC funding to establish and direct the Life Science Interface Doctoral Training Programme. Following the success of this initial programme, the DTC grew into the multifaceted and thriving institution that it is today. David has a wide range of interests, but his core research revolves around the modelling of physiological and biological systems and associated measurement techniques.

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Garrett's research interests are in methods development in computer-aided drug discovery, chiefly in high throughput docking, ligand-based virtual screening, network pharmacology, cheminformatics, bioinformatics, machine learning, and more recently protein engineering. He began as an Oxford undergraduate Chemist, completing his Part II and DPhil with W. Graham Richards; in 1991 he moved to The Scripps Research Institute, California, to work on protein-ligand docking and AutoDock, and in 2000 launched the first biomedical volunteer computing project, FightAIDS@Home, which helped spawn other biomedical projects with IBM's World Community Grid. He moved back to the UK in 2008 to work in the Oxford spinout, InhibOx (now Oxford Drug Design), doing real-world drug discovery, where he spearheaded the use of cloud computing; and then to Crysalin, another Oxford spinout, to develop novel protein engineering techniques for protein crystallization. He is now an Associate Professor and works closely with Prof. Deane in the Department of Statistics.


Martin Robinson is a Senior Research Software Engineer (RSE) in the Oxford RSE group, part of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. 

His research interests include:

  • numerical modelling and simulation
  • particle-based methods
  • Bayesian inference
  • developing robust and reliable software for research. He involved in a number of research software projects, including AboriaChastePINTSSmoldynSPH-DEM, and PyBaMM.


I completed my PhD on "Mixing and Turbulence using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics" in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University, Australia, under the supervision of Prof. Joseph Monaghan and Dr. Paul Cleary from the Computational Modelling group at CSIRO Mathematics. After this I became a Marie Curie Experienced Researcher, working on multiphase simulations of fluid-particle systems in the Multiscale Mechanics Group at the University of Twente. I then moved to the Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics (OCCAM) at the University of Oxford, working on multiscale reaction-diffusion modelling, before I ended up in in the Department of Computer Science at Oxford, first as part of the Computational Biology group and then, co-founder of the Oxford Research Software Engineering group.

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Stuart is a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Oxford, and the E. P. Abraham Cephalosporin Fellow in Organic Chemistry at St Hugh's College. He studied Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Warwick before undertaking PhD studies with Prof. David Jane and Prof. Jeff Watkins FRS in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Bristol. Stuart completed post-doctoral studies with Prof. Andrew Holmes FRS at the University of Cambridge working on the synthesis of inositol polyphosphates. In 2003, he was appointed as a Lecturer in Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, in 2008 was appointed as an Associate Professor at Oxford, and in October 2014 he was promoted to Full Professor. In 2013 Stuart was a Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology, hosted by Prof. Bob Grubbs and Prof. Dianne Newman. Since 2016 he has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and is on the Editorial Advisory Board for Organic Chemistry Frontiers. Stuart is the President of the RSC Organic Division. His research focuses on the development of molecular tools to enable the study of biological systems.

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Akane holds a joint-appointment between University of Oxford and Newcastle University, where she is a chair and professor of Chemical Biology. After obtaining M.Chem and D.Phil degrees at Oxford, she spent three years in the biotech sector where she led a number of drug discovery projects across a wide range of therapeutic areas. In 2009 she returned to academia as a senior postdoctoral scientist and subsequently became a Principal Investigator in the Department of Chemistry and Radcliffe Department of Medicine at University of Oxford. She was awarded a British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) Senior Research Fellowship in 2012, a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2013 and an ERC Starting Grant in 2016. Akane is a director of GSK-Crick Chemical Biology CDT and a co-director of Chemistry in Cells CDT at University of Oxford. She is a committee member of the RSC Chemical Biology and Bio-Organic Chemistry Interest Group and an editorial board member of Communications Chemistry (Springer Nature Journal). Her group’s research focuses on understanding the chemistry of epigenetic regulation, chemical probes development, and (cyclic)peptide-based discovery and target validation.

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Frances obtained her BSc from Imperial College London (Zoology) and her PhD from the University of Bath, UK. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, USA. She was a Lister Institute Senior Research Fellow and is currently Professor of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. Her main research interests include the biology and pathobiology of glycosphingolipids and lysosomal disorders. Her research led to the development of miglustat for the treatment of glycosphingolipid lysosomal storage diseases. Prof. Platt was awarded the Alan Gordon Memorial Award and the Horst Bickel Award for advances in metabolic disease therapy. She was elected a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011 and was the recipient of a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award in 2013. In 2016 she became a Wellcome Trust Investigator in Science. She became Head of the Department of Pharmacology in 2020.

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Angela is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. In 2007 she was awarded a prestigious Research Councils’ UK Fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry jointly between the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacology. Her work lies at the interface of Chemistry, Biology and Medicine and aims to discover new small molecules and mechanisms to manipulate cell fate and translate them into therapeutic agents, particularly for degenerative diseases and cancer. Angela has realised several successful multidisciplinary research collaborations, including identifying small molecules to upregulate utrophin for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, developing novel inhibitors and activators of developmental signaling pathways and new anti-cancer agents. In 2016, Angela was named as a ‘Rising Star’ in the ‘BioBeat 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness’ report celebrating 50 outstanding women business leaders who are recognised for their contributions to global health innovation. In 2020 she was awarded a 2021 Harrington Rare Disease Scholar award in recognition of, and in support of, her work on developing a therapy for DMD.

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Advances in remote-sensing and other technologies have transformed our ability to monitor and measure volcanic activity; but without the perspective offered by geological time, our ability to understand the causes, consequences and impacts of volcanic activity remains limited. My current focus is on integrating the rock records of past eruptions with observational records of past and present eruptions to better understand how volcanoes work, and to use this information to advance the science of volcano forecasting. This work also links to larger-scale questions of the fate of volatile elements in subduction zone systems; understanding the links between tectonics, climate and eruption style; and the development and application of new methods in volcano monitoring – particularly tools for rapid data analysis and integration. I am happy to discuss opportunities for new projects, which could range from close investigation of historlcal and archive materials from past eruptions (e.g. Vesuvius), to field and analytical studies of deposits of recent volcanic eruptions (e.g. in Greece, the eastern Caribbean or Chile).


David is a Professor of Earth Sciences and a Fellow of St Anne’s College. He completed a PhD in volcanology at the University of Cambridge in 1990, and was a Research Fellow in Cambridge and at Caltech, before taking up a lectureship in Cambridge. He moved to Oxford in 2006.


Follow this link to current DPhil topics in Earth Sciences

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Dr Bettina Wittneben is an award-winning researcher and passionate educator. She investigates institutional change in the international climate policy realm. Her work is published in academic management studies journals, such as the

Academy of Management Journal, as well as practitioner journals, such as Energy Policy. She takes pride in her teaching with the aim of building knowledge, strengthening academic research skills and empowering future leaders to tackle sustainability challenges.

Bettina holds a PhD in Strategic Management and Organisation Theory from the Judge Business School and Queens’ College, University of Cambridge. She also holds MBA degrees from the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta, Canada, (International Business) and the Grenoble Ecole de Management, France (Technology Management). Her Bachelor degree in Education (double major Science and Second Language Acquisition) is from the University of Alberta. Bettina is a German national and lives in Radley with her husband, daughter and two springer spaniels.

Bettina teaches the MSc Elective Strategic Environmental Management and the workshop ‘UNFCCC Model Negotiations’ in the Governance Module. She also teaches at Saïd Business School in the MBA Programme.

Her current research focusses on Deep Decarbonisation of Energy-Intensive Industry, and Changing Institutional Logics in Climate Finance