March 2020


Following her degree in Life Science at University of Hyogo in Japan, Naoko did Masters degree studying protein transport in plant chloroplast at the Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University. She then worked as product developer in Unicharm Co., Japan prior to starting her PhD analysing cell-cell adhesion molecules during blood vessel development at the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases and National Cardiovascular Centre, Osaka Japan. She continued her interest in vascular morphogenesis by doing a postdoc studying the role of ILK in blood vessel wall formation in Ralf Adams lab, Cancer Research UK London Research Institute. In 2010 Naoko joined the group of Beatrice Howard at Institute of Cancer Research (London) to investigate embryonic factors in mammary primordial formation and mammary tumour progression.  In 2017 she joined the Way Lab and her ongoing research is to dissect the functional diversity of Arp2/3 subunit isoforms during invadopodia formation as well as its impact in tissue morphogenesis and homeostasis.


Ilaria graduated with a master degree in Biology from the University of Bologna, Italy. For her PhD she joined the group of Fritz Boege at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she studied the role of mitochondrial topoisomerase 1 on mitochondrial DNA maintenance. In 2010 she joined Yves Pommier’s lab at the NIH in Bethesda, USA, as postdoctoral visiting fellow, continuing her work on topoisomerases and their role in DNA damage and repair pathways. In 2013 Ilaria relocated to London and joined Antonella Spinazzola’s lab at UCL for a second postdoc examining the mechanisms leading to defective mitochondrial DNA replication in human disease. Ilaria joined the Way Lab in Feb 2019 and is studying how the host DNA damage response is activated by vaccinia infection and how this activation promotes viral replication.


Davide did a 3 year degree in Biotechnology at the University of Parma, Italy. During his last year, he worked for 4 months on a research project developing a BRET (Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer) system in S. cerevisiae to study receptor/ligand interactions and perform high throughput drug discovery in the lab of Simone Ottonello, Department of Molecular Biology.  After graduating in 2013, Davide remained in Parma for a 2 year Masters degree in Industrial Biotechnology. For his second year he joined the lab of Giorgio Scita in the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM), Milan, where he studied the function of IRSp53 in lumen morphogenesis in Caco-2 organoids. He started as a PhD student in the laboratory of Michael Way at the Francis Crick Institute in 2016.  He is currently analysing the role of isoform specific Arp2/3 complexes during development and tissue homeostasis.


Amadeus grew up in Oxford before going on to complete his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol, which included a year spent on industrial placement at MedImmune, Cambridge. He did his final year project in Prof. David Stephen’s lab studying 
ciliogenesis in mammalian cells, with the aim of defining the role of a regulator protein for calcineurin signalling (RCAN2). In 2017, he joined the Way Lab, and is now using Vaccinia virus as a model system to investigate microtubule-based transport. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing football as well as exploring the London arts scene.


Prior to graduating from medical school in 2008, Lesley completed a Masters Degree in Research (MRes) at the Northern Institute of Cancer Research in Newcastle Upon Tyne. There, she studied the effects of androgens on ovarian cancer and her interest in academic gynaecological oncology began.  After completing Foundation Training in Scotland, she secured an Obstetrics and Gynaecology National Training Number in London. She has spent five years working clinically as a senior registrar in hospitals throughout North East London, focusing on the surgical management of women with gynaecological cancers. She completed her professional examinations and became a Member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2014.

Lesley joined the Way Lab in 2016 as a CRUK Clinical Research Fellow and is on a 3 year PhD programme. She is interested in the potential of Vaccinia virus as an oncolytic immunotherapy for ovarian cancer and her project aims to explore novel combination therapies. 


Angika did her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University followed by a Masters by Research at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. During her PhD in Michael Glotzer’s lab at The University of Chicago, she studied division plane positioning in animal cells. Her work helped elucidate a complex molecular mechanism by which a key molecule RhoA is activated on the equatorial plasma membrane, at the right place and time for successful cell cleavage.

Currently, she is interested in understanding how multi-component cellular signalling networks are organised to perform specific functions, and enjoys using Vaccinia virus-directed actin polymerisation as a model system.


Miguel graduated in Biology from the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), followed by a Master’s in Microbiology, in 2012-2013. For his PhD, he joined Peñalva’s lab, at the Biological Research Centre-Spanish Research Council, Madrid, where he studied endocytic recycling and the dynamic organization of the Golgi apparatus.

In 2018, he joined Stephen Royle’s lab at the University of Warwick (UK) for a short stay, expanding his knowledge on the role of multi-subunit complexes and biological membranes in membrane trafficking, particularly in the formation of clathrin coated vesicles.

Miguel became a member of the Way lab in mid 2019, to study how vaccinia poxvirus hijacks membrane trafficking machinery in its replication cycle, with a special interest in the role of septin and clathrin in vaccinia virus assembly and egress. In order to do that, he is using a combination of Cryo-Electron Tomography and fluorescence microscopy, with a virology and cell biology perspective.


Alessio is an undergraduate studying Molecular Biology at The University of Manchester (UK). He joined the Way Lab in the summer of 2019 for 100% of his 3rd year of study as a placement year Sandwich research student, studying the complex signalling cascade involved in Vaccinia virus induced actin polymerisation.

In particular, his project investigates the role of new candidate players involved in the efficient and correct formation of viral-induced actin tails.  He is also exploring their additional role in regulation of septins.  He uses a combination of TIRF and spinning disc confocal imaging approaches on infected cells in combination with RNAi approaches.  


Anna obtained her undergraduate degree in Biophysics from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland in 2015. Her final project, in the lab of Zenon Rajfur, examined protruding actin microridges on the top layer of fish epithelial cells. This project stimulated Anna's interest in actin and super resolution microscopy. She remained at Jagiellonian University for her 2 year masters degree, spending her second year in the lab of Gareth Jones at King's College, London on an Erasmus internship. Collaborating with Susan Cox, she examined the structure and dynamics of actin rich podosomes using dSTORM and 3B super resolution microscopy.

Anna joined the Way Lab in Sept 2019 as a PhD student. Her project uses Vaccinia virus as a model system to study how RhoGTPase signalling regulates the cortical actin cytoskeleton. 



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