NEWS

 

NOV 2021 NEW CASE PHD STUDENTSHIP AVAILABLE

There is a 4-year CASE PhD studentship available in the Blower lab, examining the biochemistry and structural biology of BrxU, our favourite DNA-modification dependent nuclease involved in phage defence. Details here: http://tinyurl.com/sd64e5wh. The project will be co-supervised by Prof Jay Hinton (University of Liverpool) and Drs Peter Weigele and Rick Morgan at New England Biolabs. If you'd like experience in both an academic and industrial setting - this project is for you! The project is through the BBSRC NLD DTP. Please email Tim with your CV for more info. All applications go direct to the DTP, more info here: https://www.nld-dtp.org.uk/how-apply.

OCT 2021 NEW ARTICLE FROM DAVID PICTON

Our new study into a phage defence island containing complementary BREX and type IV restriction systems has been published in Nucleic Acids Research. This work contains the first structural information on the GmrSD-family of type IV DNA-modification dependent restriction enzymes, for our favourite homologue, BrxU. Dr David Picton led the study, in collaboration with Prof Jay Hinton (Liverpool), Dr Rick Morgan (NEB), Prof Darren Smith (Northumbria) and Dr David Dryden (Durham). Huge congratulations to Dave and thank you to everyone involved!

OCT 2021 WELCOME TO NEW STARTERS IN THE LAB

The new academic year has begun and there are lots of new faces in the lab. Tom Arrowsmith joins us as a MoSMED CDT PhD student, Sam Duffner starts his postgraduate MSc by Research, and Andras Dervenkar joins as a 4th Year Natural Sciences undergraduate. Welcome to all!

JUN 2021 NEW ARTICLE FOR BEN USHER AND IZAAK BECK

Congratulations to Ben Usher, lead author on our new publication in Journal of Structural Biology. Ben solved the structure of the anti-CRISPR repressor Aca2, used by phages to modulate their counter-resistance to the host CRISPR defence. This was done in collaboration with the Fineran lab at the University of Otago and supported in our lab by Izaak (@IzaakBeck).

MAY 2021 DAVID PICTON LEVELS UP TO DR PICTON

Huge congratulations to Dave who passed his PhD viva and successfully became Dr Picton. First PhD student through the lab! So proud!! Thank you to Profs Mark Szczelkun and Martin Cann for running the viva.

MAY 2021 IZAAK BECK WINS PRESENTATION PRIZE

Congratulations to Izaak (@izaakbeck) who has won a prize for his presentation on Mycobacterium tuberculosis gyrase at this year's Departmental Postgraduate Conference. There were loads of great talks, so credit all round to our PG cohort for keeping standards high during difficult conditions.

MAR 2021 NEW ARTICLE FOR DAVID PICTON

Led by our collaborators Dr Blanca Perez-Sepulveda and Prof Jay Hinton over at Liverpool University, we have published a new article on the characterisation of Salmonella phage isolates from Malawi. David Picton generated mutants of phage-resistance systems to aid isolation and trained up Liverpool lab members. Congrats to the whole team.

FEB 2021 NEW ARTICLE FOR BEN USHER IN THE SCIENCE BREAKER

Ben Usher and Yiming Cai have had their recent publication featured on The Science Breaker, a free-to-publish platform that promotes science communication for the lay audience. Congrats to Ben and Yiming! You can find the article here.

FEB 2021 FUNDED PHD STUDENTSHIP AVAILABLE

We have a fully funded PhD studentship available through the EPSRC MoSMED CDT. This 4-year project will continue our work on toxin-antitoxin systems of M. tuberculosis, using microbiology, structural biology, and structure-based drug design. The project is co-supervised by Dr Agnieszka Bronowska and Dr Danny Cole at Newcastle University. Full details available on findaphd

DEC 2020 JOINT PHD PROJECT AVAILABLE WITH PROF TRACY PALMER

A new BBSRC NLD-DTP PhD studentship is available looking at secreted toxins of S. aureus. Led by Prof Tracy Palmer FRS @proftracypalmer (Newcastle University), with Tim as secondary supervisor. More info here on findaphd.

NOV 2020 WELCOME TO OUR NEW PROJECT STUDENTS

Dan Sin and Ben Baker have joined the lab as undergraduate project students to learn more about toxin-antitoxin systems and HDACs. All online for now - lots of Xtal data to process. Welcome!

SEP 2020 TIM GIVES KEYNOTE TALK AT CAMBRIDGE PHD SYMPOSIUM

It was an honour to be invited to give the Keynote talk at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge's 3rd Year PhD Symposium. The talk covered some research highlights and tried to dish out some career advice to the upcoming generation of fantastic scientists, either in academia or other career paths. It was fun to be back at my home Department!

SEP 2020 NEW PHD STUDENTSHIP AVAILABLE IN THE LAB STARTING JAN 2021

We have a new PhD project available through the BBSRC NLD DTP, in collaboration with New England Biolabs, to study phage-resistance mechanisms. Please contact Tim if you are interested, and more information is available on findaphd.  

JUL 2020 TIM INTERVIEWED ON THE BBC

Following our new publication in Science Advances, Tim was invited to discuss the work on the BBC World Service's flagship news programme, "Newshour". You can listen to the clip here, starting at 14 min.

JUL 2020 NEW PAPER FROM BEN USHER

Congratulations to Ben Usher, co-first author on a new article published in Science Advances that has characterised the MenT family of toxins, which block growth of tuberculosis through a previously unreported mechanism. This collaborative paper involving five labs across the UK, France and New Zealand, was led by co-senior authors Tim and Dr Pierre Genevaux of the Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Génétique Moléculaires, Toulouse University.

JUL 2020 - IZAAK WINS TOP POSTER PRIZE

Congratulations to @izaakbeck for winning the top poster prize at the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Conference 2020 #nld_dtp20

JUL 2020 - LAB RE-OPENING

The lab re-opened at the start of July. Great to be back in the lab, albeit appropriately distanced and at reduced capacity, and finally able to do experiments again!

JUN 2020 - NEW PAPER FROM IZAAK BECK

Congratulations to @izaakbeck, lead author on a new article published in Biochemical Journal that compares the structure and function of the AbiEi and Rv2827c antitoxins. This work was co-authored by Ben Usher and done in collaboration with the Fineran Lab at the University of Otago, New Zealand

JUN 2020 - NEW BLOWER LAB WEBSITE LAUNCHED

Welcome to our brand new website, we hope you find it helpful and informative

MAY 2020 - NEW PAPER FROM DAVID PICTON

Congratulations to David Picton, co-author on a new article published in Molecules examining potential anticancer drugs that selectively inhibit histone deacetylase isoforms. This work was done in collaboration with our Durham neighbours, the Walton lab