James Nathan is a Respiratory Physician working on cellular mechanisms of oxygen and metabolite sensing. He undertook his research training at the University of Cambridge (Wellcome Clinical Research Training Fellowship, 2004) and Harvard Medical School (MRC Clinician Scientist Award, 2009), exploring basic mechanisms of protein degradation and proteasome function. In 2014, he was awarded a Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellowship for his laboratory in the CIMR. Here, using a combination of forward genetic and biochemical approaches his group uncovered new insights into how cells respond to their nutrient environments through enzymes that are sensitive to both oxygen and metabolites (Cell Metabolism, 2016 & eLife, 2017).
Alex Taylor has interests that span molecular biology, immunology, chemical biology, molecular evolution and biotechnology, and are best summarised as fundamental synthetic biology, or xenobiology. His research at King’s College London (2007) was focused on understanding how natural evolution shapes key molecules in adaptive immunity – antibodies (immunoglobulins) and their cellular receptors – through comparative immunology, biophysics and structural biology. He later joined the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge in 2010 where he developed synthetic genetic systems based on analogues of DNA (collectively known as xeno nucleic acids, or XNAs), composed of chemical building blocks not found in nature.
Stephen Baker is a molecular microbiologist working in global health. His work focusses on integrating genomics with clinical and epidemiological sciences to understand how bacterial pathogens spread, evolve and cause disease. He was been based at the Wellcome overseas unit for 12 years but is now Director of Research for global health in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. His Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship will enable him to develop his work in the department to generate new insights into how organisms trigger immunological responses during natural infection and use this information to develop new control tools.