Students Staff

02 September 2016

Researchers win prestigious Wellcome Trust Seed Awards

Researchers from the Department of Biological Sciences

From left - Dr Vassiliy Bavro; Dr Antonio Marco; Dr Pradeepa M Madapura; Dr Nicolae Radu Zabet

Five academics from the University of Essex have been awarded prestigious Wellcome Trust seed awards for their ground-breaking work in biomedical research.

Dr Pradeepa M Madapura

Dr Pradeepa Marulasiddappa

Dr Pradeepa M Madapura studies gene expression and how mutations can lead to diseases. Most of the genetic variation in the human population that affects the risk of developing common diseases such as cancer, diabetes and arthritis is not in the genes themselves, but in the ‘control’ elements that switch genes on. Dr Madapura looks at how these control elements work to switch genes on.

He said: “I am delighted to receive this award as it will allow me to investigate what switches genes on and it gives me an opportunity to take my research further.”


Dr Nicolae Radu Zabet

Dr Radu Zabet

Dr Nicolae Radu Zabet investigates the effects of chromatin architecture on gene regulation.

He explains: “Cells in our body have very different characteristics, yet each contains the same genetic material, coded in the DNA. What makes one cell different from another is particular parts of the DNA, a set of genes that are turned on. We are currently testing our hypothesis on Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) and the results can have important medical implications.”

“Winning the grant is a stepping stone for my career because it allows me to further develop my research and conduct more experiments. This grant gives me an opportunity to collect the data I need.”


Dr Vladimir Teif

Dr Vladimir Teif

Dr Vladimir Teif’s research is based around nucleosome repositioning as a mechanism for cell memory in cancer transitions. He has been working on biophysics of DNA-centred systems since 1998. A decade later he entered the nucleosome positioning field, and since then works on modelling epigenetic regulation in chromatin.




Dr Antonio Marco

Dr Antonio Marco

Dr Antonio Marco, who is a part of the Genomics team, focuses his research on evolutionary genomics. He looks at a specific type of gene regulators called microRNAs.





Dr Vassiliy Bavro

Dr Vassiliy Bavro

Dr Vassiliy Bavro focuses on antimicrobial resistance and multidrug efflux pump, which are responsible for pumping antibiotics outside of the bacterial cells. His research mainly focuses on understanding how those pumps work.





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