University of Dundee

Former Student Case Studies

Over 90% of our graduates are currently employed in positions that engage their expertise in Life Sciences research. Below are a few examples of our graduates.

Diego Miranda-Saaverdra - 2002 cohort

Diego completed his PhD in Dundee under the supervision of Geoffrey Barton in Oct 2006. The main aim of his PhD was to develop a computational method for the automatic database search, classification and functional annotation of protein kinases. This method, called Kinomer remains to a widely used tool for the automatic annotation of kinomes. From the outset Diego seized every opportunity to collaborate with scientists in Dundee and elsewhere on a number of kinase related questions; identification of divergent functional mechanisms and drug targets in parasites;  evolution of kinase function; whole genome annotation and new insights into kinase function. These collaborations were productive resulting in a total of 10 publications from his PhD.

Following his PhD Diego joined the laboratory of Prof Bertie Gottgens in Cambridge with the aim of gaining expertise in experimental aspects of haematology. Diego excelled in applying his bioinformatics expertise within this environment and after only 2.5 years during which he was author on 10 publications he was recruited as a group leader to the Immunology Frontier Research Centre at Osaka University.

Diego has established an independent research group in Osaka in 2009 that studies regulatory networks relating to innate and adaptive immunity using both experimental (largely genomic) and bioinformatics approaches. Diego is corresponding author on 9 papers published by this group and has also been productive in many collaborative projects. He has recently been recruited by the University of Newcastle where he is currently a Reader in Bioinformatics.

Helder Ferreira – 2001 cohort

Studied for his PhD in the research group of Tom Owen-Hughes at the University of Dundee. Investigated the effects of histone modifications on the biophysical properties of nucleosomes. Formed many collaborative interactions resulting in 10 publications from graduate studies (three 1st author). He joined the research group of Susan Gasser at the FMI in Basel in 2007 where he studied the perinuclear localisation of telomeres in both budding yeast and C.elegans. He is currently pursuing his research in chromatin structure as a lecturer at the University of St Andrews. He has won the following awards since leaving Dundee:

  • SULSA leaders grant - 2013
  • Hybrigenics prize - 2011
  • EMBO long term fellowship - 2010
  • Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship – 2008

Kirsteen Campbell - 2000 cohort

Kirsteen studied for her PhD with Prof Neil Perkins at the University of Dundee.  Her main area of investigation was the study of the transcriptional regulator RelA in the regulation of apoptosis. She then studied as a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Suzanne Cory in Melbourne from 2006-2010. Here she focused on development of mouse models for lymphoid malignancies. She returned to the UK in 2010 and is currently a Royal Society Dorthy Hodgkin Fellow at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow investigating the potential for modulation of Myc activity on tumour development and response to therapy. Since leaving Dundee she has had two children and won the following awards:

  • 2005: First Prize, Poster Competition Lorne Cancer Conference, Australia.
  • 2006: EMBO Long Term Post Doctoral Fellowship.
  • 2007-9:    Human Frontier Science Program Post Doctoral Fellowship.
  • 2009: EACR Cancer Researcher Award.
  • 2010: Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship.
  • 2011: Third Prize, Poster Competition Genes and Cancer Conference, Warwick.