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People

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Francesco A. Aprile

Principal Investigator

Francesco is a Lecturer in Chemistry and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. He obtained his PhD from the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) and was previously a Senior Research Fellow of the Alzheimer’s Society in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge.

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Siân Allerton

PhD Student

I carried out my undergraduate degree in chemistry at Durham University and in my final year I completed an external masters project as part of the Koksch Group at the Freie Universität Berlin. There I focussed on the use of synthetic peptides as effective cell culture platforms. Now, as a member of the Aprile Group, I am looking into the structural and pathological consequences of alpha-synuclein/lipid membrane interactions.

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Nicole Christou

PhD Student

Nicole joined the group in January 2021 as part of the MRes/PhD program from the Institute of Chemical Biology. Her project focuses on the role of pathological post-translational modifications on the function and druggability of amyloid-beta oligomers in Alzheimer’s disease at both structural and single-molecule levels. She is co-supervised by Prof Ramon Vilar (Chemistry) and Dr Liming Ying (Medicine).

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Giacomo Corucci

Research Associate

I completed my PhD in biophysics at the Institut Laue Langevin, Grenoble, France. My thesis focussed on the expression and purification of phospholipases, and the analysis of their kinetics and interactions with model lipid membranes, using neutron and Xray scattering techniques as well as mass spectrometry. I joined Aprile group the 6th Feb 2023, I am working with Devkee on the expression and purification of different mutants of TDP43, analysing their kinetics and aggregation structures.

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Nicole Fitikides

PhD Student

I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry for Drug Discovery at the University of Bath and in October 2021 I joined the Aprile and Vilar groups to complete an MRes in Drug Discovery and Development. My MRes project was focused on the use of cobalt complexes as inhibitors of amyloid-β aggregation, linked to Alzheimer’s disease. I started my PhD in the Aprile group in October 2023. My project is focused on developing a new imaging tool for studying the liquid-liquid phase separation of a-synuclein and its role in Parkinson’s disease. My PhD project is co-supervised by Prof. Ramon Vilar and Prof. Marina Kuimova.

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Ying Ge

Research Associate

Ying completed her BSc and PhD in biochemistry at the University of St Andrews and joined the Arpile group as a post-doctoral research associate in Jan 2021. She is interested in post-translational modifications (PTMs) in amyloid proteins and antibody discovery.

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Xiaotong (Erin) Lin

PhD Student

Erin joined the group in Oct 2021 where she completed her MRes in Chemical biology and bio-entrepreneurship. She completed her BSc in Chemistry at King's College London. Her current project focuses on probing Amyloid-β peptide in Alzheimer's disease. Her project is co-supervised by Professor Ramon Vilar.

Xiaotong (Erin) Lin

PhD student

Erin joined the group in Oct 2021 where she completed her MRes in Chemical biology and bio-entrepreneurship. She completed her BSc in Chemistry at King's College London. Her current project focuses on probing Amyloid-β peptide in Alzheimer's disease. Her project is co-supervised by Professor Ramon Vilar.

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Xiaotong (Erin) Lin

PhD Student

Erin joined the group in Oct 2021 where she completed her MRes in Chemical biology and bio-entrepreneurship. She completed her BSc in Chemistry at King's College London. Her current project focuses on probing Amyloid-β peptide in Alzheimer's disease. Her project is co-supervised by Professor Ramon Vilar.

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Victoria Maria Noakes

MRes student

I graduated from Imperial with a BSc in biomedical sciences, conducting a research project on blood coagulation at the Centre for Haematology in my final year. Following graduation, I worked as a research assistant on the same project for a year. Currently pursuing an MRes in drug discovery and development, my research in the Aprile lab centers on developing synthetic nanobodies to inhibit TDP-43 aggregation in neurodegenerative disorders.

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Xiaotong (Erin) Lin

PhD Student

Erin joined the group in Oct 2021 where she completed her MRes in Chemical biology and bio-entrepreneurship. She completed her BSc in Chemistry at King's College London. Her current project focuses on probing Amyloid-β peptide in Alzheimer's disease. Her project is co-supervised by Professor Ramon Vilar.

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Miguel Paez Perez

Research Associate

A bioengineer by training (University Carlos III, Madrid), I obtained my PhD from Imperial College London in 2022. After working as a postdoc at the interface between membrane biophysics and DNA nanotechnology, I joined Aprile's group in February 2024 to develop optical probes for investigating protein liquid-liquid phase separation and aggregation.

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Fawaz Raja

MRes student

After completing my BSc in Chemistry at Imperial College London, I worked in early-stage drug discovery focusing on the development of Mass Spectrometry-Protein binding assays. I am now completing an MRes in Chemical-Biology with Bio-Entrepreneurship in the Aprile group focusing on the topographical characterisation of alpha-synuclein oligomers, co-supervised by  Dr. Shevchuk.

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Annesha Tandel

MSci Student

Annesha joined the group this year as a Chemistry MSci project student. She mainly specialises in organic chemistry and chemical biology but is hoping to develop a photocleavable anti-body utilising biochemistry too for her final year project.

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Rebecca Thrush

PhD Student

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge including a masters within the Centre for Misfolding Diseases under the super vision of Dr Janet Kumita. I am now studying for my PhD as part of the Aprile group at Imperial College London, investigating N-terminal post-translational modifications of alpha-synuclein and their role in Parkinson’s disease.

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Devkee Vadukul

Research Associate

Devkee joined the group in 2020 and works primarily on protein misfolding and amyloid formation. Her current project focusses on heterogenous protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases. 

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Siyi Wang

MRes student

I finished my undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham. Now, I am a postgraduate student in MRes Chemical Biology and Bio-entrepreneurship. My project focuses on designing photo-switchable antibodies for enhanced control of protein interactions related to neurodegenerative disease.

Former Group Members

  • 2023 Liliana Napolitano (Visiting PhD student)

  • 2023 Alvin Lam (IROP)

  • 2023 Nathalie Haft (IROP)

  • 2023 Anouk Huyghebaert (MRes student)

  • 2023 Jingzhou Yang (MRes student)

  • 2023 Tianji Zhang (MRes in Drug Discovery and Development)

  • 2022-2023 Benedict Moss (MSci Student)

  • 2022 Lucia Hughes (UROP)

  • 2022 Jielei Wang (UROP)

  • 2021-2022 Alexandra Yendrzheyevskiy (MRes student)

  • 2021-2022 Claudia Lambert (MRes student)

  • 2019-2022 Dimitra Gialama (Research Associate)

  • 2021-2022 Athina Masoura (MSci Chemistry)

  • 2019-2022 Yiyun Jin (Research Assistant)

  • 2021 Jingzhou Yang (UROP)

  • 2021 Nicole Christou (MRes in Biological and Physical Chemistry)

  • 2020-2021 Joe White (MSci Chemistry)

  • 2019-2020 Michelle Simon (MRes in Drug Discovery and Development)

  • 2017-2019 Shianne Chhangur

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