In the Lab

Ben Dickins

Ben is the principal investigator. My interests are in mutation and evolution. To pursue these I have adapted the latest tools in genomics research to examine mutations occurring in real time in microbial systems and across generations in humans. My doctoral training in genomic imprinting gave me a detailed knowledge of molecular biology and an interest in understanding how underlying evolutionary processes play into molecular mechanisms, and vice versa. My postdoctoral experience familiarised me with genomics workflows from the experimental or clinical sample through to the analysis of NGS data. Check out my NTU Staff Profile or other links throughout the site.

Oyeronke Ayansola

Oyeronke is a PhD student in the Dickins lab. I am interested in evolutionary processes in large populations exposed to new environments. Responding to novelty is a key challenge for an evolving population and for a virus a substantial part of its environment is the host that it infects. My project examines the costs and benefits of switching from one host to another - a question of key importance for understanding emergence of new viral diseases. My MSc project (lethal mutagenesis in a bacteriophage) familiarised me with phage biology. I was recently awarded a Silver-award Sponsorship with the Primer Design Company UK for my host-switching work.

Writing Up

Alex Wilcox

Viral evolution at elevated mutation rate. Description solicited.

Tristan Seecharran

Tristan joined us recently from the McNally lab. I am a third year, VC-funded, PhD student studying the population structure of extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC; the most common worldwide cause of hospital-associated and drug-resistant infections). I am interested in how some sequence types (e.g., ST131, ST73 and ST95) have become principal causes of human disease. I have also worked on Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, again combining genomic data with ecology to investigate the evolution of pathogenesis in this model bacterial species. You can reach me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Lab Alumni

Nancy Atieno

Nancy is an MSc Biomedical Science student. I did a three-month thesis project in the Dickins lab studying the effects of high mutation rates on the evolution of ϕX174.