People

Jacob Corn

Jacob Corn is the Professor of Genome Biology at ETH Zürich. His research aims to bring about the end of genetic disease through the development and application of next-generation genome editing technologies. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys long backpacking trips and rock climbing. You can find Jacob on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Joanna Loizou

Joanna completed her undergraduate studies in the UK, moving there from Cyprus. Subsequently, she commenced PhD work at the University of Manchester, UK, and the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex, UK, investigating mechanisms of DNA single-strand break repair. Postdoctoral work followed at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), WHO, France where Joanna investigated the regulation and importance of epigenetic modifications in DNA repair. Building on this experience she focused on the repair of endogenously generated breaks in B cells at the London Research Institute (LRI), Cancer Research UK (CR-UK). Joanna established her independent lab in Vienna, Austria at CeMM, where the team investigates the mechanisms by which cells respond to – and repair – DNA damage to maintain genomic stability and suppress disease. Later in 2020 the team will move to the Medical University of Vienna.

Steve Jackson

Steve Jackson FRS, FMedSci is University of Cambridge Professor of Biology, and Head of Cancer Research UK Laboratories at the Gurdon Institute, Cambridge. His research has identified many key principles by which cells respond to and repair DNA damage. This work identified many DNA repair proteins, established how they function, and showed how their dysfunction yields cancer and other age-related diseases.

To translate his work towards patient benefit, Steve has founded/co-founded several biotechnology companies. One of these, KuDOS, generated the PARP inhibitor drug olaparib/LynparzaTM that is marketed worldwide by AstraZeneca for treating certain ovarian and breast cancers. In 2010, Steve founded Mission Therapeutics Ltd. (Babraham, Cambridge) to exploit recent advances in protein ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation to derive new medicines. Steve’s academic laboratory is currently further defining mechanisms of DNA repair and associated processes, with a view to identifying new therapeutic opportunities for cancer as well as various other genetic diseases.

Markus Schröder

Markus received his PhD in Computational Infection Biology from University College Dublin, Ireland, working with Prof. Geraldine Butler and Prof. Des Higgins on comparative genomics in human fungal pathogens, focusing on uncovering the population structure and characterizing transcriptional networks in Candida species. Markus joined the Corn lab staff as a Bioinformatics Scientist in May 2019 from Genentech, South San Francisco, where he worked on large scale cancer genomics and familial data sets. At ETHZ, he works on CRISPR- and NGS-related computational approaches and is part of the NCCR RNA & Disease.

Joana Ferreira da Silva

Joana is a DNA Repair & Genome Editing enthusiast, with a pathological cheese obsession. Originally from Portugal, she received her MSc degree in Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine from the Institute of Molecular Medicine (Lisbon), working on the mechanisms of signal transduction in T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (T-ALL). In 2016, Joana joined the Loizou Lab as a PhD student. Since then, she has kept herself up at night thinking about the mechanisms through which Cas9 breaks are repaired by the endogenous machinery of the cell. She is also interested in how modulating this can improve CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing, for therapeutic purposes.

Kate Dry

I am a senior postdoctoral scientist and have been working in the Jackson lab as Information Specialist for over 15 years. My role is to facilitate all aspects of science management and administration for Professor Jackson. This is a diverse role and I wear many hats; everything from monitoring the scientific literature, writing reports and grant applications, to editing Wikipedia pages. I also oversee lab funding and staff recruitment, assist with research publications from first drafts to final proof-reading, write press releases, curate the lab website and Twitter feed, and deal with anything else that crosses my desk!

Lena Kobel

Lena Kobel received her Master’s degree in Cell Biology from the ETH Zürich in 2017. In her Master thesis she focused on generating stable mammalian cell lines using CRISPR-Cas9 in the lab of Prof. Martin Jinek at the University of Zürich, where she then worked for another 1.5 years as a technician. After that, she worked as an intern at Caribou Biosciences, Inc., in Berkeley for 6 months on a project focused on the development of CAR-T cell therapies. Lena joined the Corn lab as a Cell Line Engineer in March 2020.

Anna Schrempf

Anna is originally from Austria. She received her Master`s degree from the University of Vienna in 2018, working with Luisa Cochella at the Research Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) on regulation of gene expression during development. Anna joined the Loizou Lab at CeMM as a PhD-student in September 2018, investigating DNA double-strand break repair of Cas9-breaks as well as synthetic lethal relationships between different DNA repair proteins. Apart from science, Anna likes every kind of sport involving mountains (hiking, skiing, ski touring) and enjoys singing and playing the piano.

Yaron Galanty

I am a Senior Research Associate with Prof. Steve Jackson at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge. Originally from Israel, I completed my PhD in 2005 on ATM and the COP9- signalosome in the DDR at Tel-Aviv Medical School with Prof. Yossi Shiloh. I then joined Prof. Steve Jackson’s lab as a postdoctoral researcher, where I spearheaded projects exploring the role of ubiquitin and other UBLs (ubiquitin-like proteins) in DDR signalling and repair. In 2009, following seminal publications on the roles of SUMO in the DDR, I accepted a permanent position as a senior research associate in the lab. Since then I have supervised research projects, graduate and undergraduate students, while continuing with my own research projects and spearhead the introduction of CRISPR technology to the lab.


Moritz Schlapansky

Moritz Schlapansky received his Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Vienna in 2020. He worked in the laboratory of Professor Michael McManus at UCSF, focusing on the development of a novel genetic screening paradigm and targeted sequencing approaches in order to decipher cell state transitions. Moritz joined the Corn Lab as a PhD student in July 2020. He is using the CRISPR toolbox to delineate genetic interactions that could inspire new cancer therapeutics. Moritz’ research interests include functional genomics, therapeutic gene editing and cancer biology, with a special focus on technology development.

Goncalo Oliveira

My name is Gonçalo Oliveira and I joined the Loizou lab as a postdoc. I originally studied Genetics and Molecular Biology in Lisbon, Portugal. Afterwards, I obtained my PhD degree investigating how genome stability is maintained in the mammalian germline at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK.

Giuseppina D'Alessandro

Giuseppina is a postdoctoral fellow and joined the Steve Jackson group in January 2019. She is interested in the role of lncRNAs (long non-coding RNAs) in the DNA damage response.

John received his PhD in Oncology from the University of Oxford in 2020, working with Prof. Kristijan Ramadan on the molecular mechanisms of DNA-protein crosslink repair. John joined the Corn Lab as a postdoctoral researcher in October 2020, where he is using CRISPR-Cas9-based screening approaches to identify genetic interactions that can be exploited in cancer therapy.

Originally from Spain, Emili Arasa received his Master’s degree in Translational Biomedical Research from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. During his undergraduate studies he worked at the Institute of Biomedicine from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg. Afterwards, he completed his Master thesis in the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) in Barcelona. Emili joined the lab of Joanna Loizou in June 2020 as a Technical Assistant

Vipul is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge Gurdon Institute. He has a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics and a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology. Vipul’s research is focused on developing multidimensional genomics pipelines to efficiently screen and identify human genetic variations associated with a specific trait or population. His research interests include bioinformatics, chemical biology, molecular biology, structural biology, multi-omics analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Joana da Costa Oterelo Mrtins

Joana is from Portugal and did her Master in Cell and Molecular Biology in the University of Porto during which she did her thesis at the Gurdon Institute in Daniel St Johnston’s lab. After that she worked in Oliver Söhnlein lab at the IPEK, LMU in Munich. In 2020 she joined the Loizou lab as a PhD student to study interactions between different DNA repair pathways and how they can be explored therapeutically.

Rimma Belotserkovskaya

Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Rimma received her Master’s diploma from the Department of Genetics of the State University of St. Petersburg. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania studying regulation of gene expression by histone acetyltransferase SAGA complex in the laboratory of Shelley Berger. Her postdoctoral research in Danny Reinberg’s lab at the UMDNJ helped to explain how histone chaperone FACT promotes gene transcription in the context of chromatin. Since joining Steve Jackson’s group in 2004, Rimma has studied various aspects of the DNA damage response and contributed to multiple projects. The main research interest is in understanding of the interplay between different DNA double-strand break repair pathways, especially in the context of acquired drug resistance in homology directed repair-deficient tumours.

Christof Gaunt

My name is Christof Gaunt and I have recently joined the Loizou lab as a postdoctoral fellow through the CeMM pre-ERC postdoc program. Prior to my postdoc in Vienna, I completed all of my studies in the UK, studying Pharmacology (BSc) and Drug Discovery and Development (MSc). Later, I completed my PhD (Cantab.) investigating the influence of bexarotene, an RXR agonist, over the shared T regulatory cell and Th17 developmental pathway and its potential as a remyelinating agent in relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis patients at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

John Thomas

Bioinformatist at Jackson Lab

For the past 7 years I was a lab manager and research assistant in Petra Beli’s lab in Mainz, using quantitative proteomics approaches to study the DNA damage response. I am excited to join the DDREAMM project in the Jackson lab as a research assistant.

Almudena Serrano-Benitez

I joined Steve Jackson’s lab as a postdoc in January 2020. I obtained my PhD degree investigating how DSBs generated by topoisomerase II are repaired in different genetic backgrounds and what are the consequences for the genome stability. I’m interested in studying molecular mechanisms of the DNA damage response and its interplay with topoisomerases, as well as using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to identify unknown factors involved in these processes.