University of Dundee

Sonia Rocha and Nicola Stanley-Wall appointed Readers

29 Jan 2014

The College of Life Sciences is delighted to announce that Sonia Rocha and Nicola Stanley-Wall have both been appointed Readers at the University of Dundee.

Sonia Rocha is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression; her research investigates gene regulation during hypoxia. Born in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, she studied for her undergraduate degree in Biology at the Faculty of Sciences, Porto University and received her PhD from ETH Zurich in Switzerland investigating the mechanisms of ionising radiation-induced apoptosis where she became interested in Hypoxia.

In 2000, she joined the Perkins Group at the then Biochemistry Department at the University of Dundee. Her work focused on investigating the crosstalk between tumour suppressors and the NF-kappaB family of transcription factors.

Unusually in life sciences research, she decided to start her own Group at the same institution as her postdoctoral research with funding from RCUK to study the mechanism of hypoxia induced gene expression. In 2010 she was awarded tenure and in 2011 a highly prestigious Senior Research Fellowship by CRUK.

Nicola Stanley-Wall is Deputy Head of the Division of Molecular Biology. She received her BSc in Cell Biology and her PhD in Molecular Microbiology from the University of East Anglia. After her PhD she received an EMBO long term Fellowship as a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of California, Los Angeles. She joined the College of Life Sciences as a Principal Investigator in 2005.

Her research interests are centred on using molecular biology to understand the signalling processes that control multicellular behaviours exhibited by bacteria. In particular she is interested in the genetic components that control biofilm formation by the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis.

In addition to her own research programme at the University’s College of Life Sciences, Dr Stanley-Wall has developed an innovative approach to public engagement. She co-ordinates the hugely popular ‘Magnificent Microbes’ event at Dundee Science Festival, regularly gives talks to pupils at schools throughout the Dundee area, and helps organise RSE Science Masterclasses at the University. She was Winner of the RSE Beltane Innovators Prize for Public Engagement 2012 and is a member ‎of the RSE ‎Young Academy.