Sonia Rocha

Sharon Mudie

Laura D'Ignazio

John Biddlestone

Jimena Druker

Alena Shmakova

Michael Batie

Julianty Frost

Catia Soares




Ex Lab members

Sonia Rocha

I am originally from Portugal, more precisely Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. I conducted my undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Sciences, Porto University, where I studied Biology. My honours project was focused on plant physiology, mainly concerning the nutrient properties of potatoes.

Following from my undergraduate I obtained a fellowship from the Portuguese government, to work for one year as a research assistant in a joint project between Porto University and Uppsala University in Sweden. This project involved the use of cyanobacteria to produce H2 with the aims of using it as alternative fuel. After this year, I started my Ph.D research project in Zurich, Switzerland. My PhD is from the ETH-Zurich, but my project was collaborative between the ETH (K. Winterhalter) and the University Hospital (M. Pruschy). The work was focused on investigating the mechanisms of ionising radiation-induced apoptosis. It was here I became interested in Hypoxia.

After my PhD, I joined the group of Neil Perkins (at the time a junior PI), at the Biochemistry department of the University of Dundee. My work was focused on investigating the crosstalk between tumour suppressors and the NF-kappaB family of transcription factors. During my time at the University of Dundee, the department has grown immensely. The resources, facilities and intellectual atmosphere is one of the best I have encountered. As such, my decision to start my research group in the same location as my postdoctoral studies was made easier. This decision created many obstacles for me, as the prejudice against not moving is high. However, I persevered and obtained funding to conduct my research, studying the mechanism of hypoxia induced gene expression. I am very thankful to all the people that believe in me, and to the nice funding agencies that are currently, and will fund me in the future. I am particular grateful to Cancer Research UK, who have awarded me a very prestigious Senior Research Fellowship.

Being in love with what I do means that I work as much as I can. However, since April 2015, I have another important person in my life, my daughter Victoria. As such, my spare time is limited. I enjoy my holidays in Porto and Vancouver, every time I can. I love attending my football team matches, F. C. Porto!! I like to travel to other countries, one of the advantages of being a scientist. I love live music and listening to music, mostly black metal. The rest of my spare time, I spend with my daughter and partner and going to see the local elite league ice hockey team the Dundee Stars!