DTP Staff  

Professor Gail Preston: Director



Gail’s research group uses multi-disciplinary approaches to understand the molecular mechanisms used by infectious microorganisms to colonise host tissues and the impact of environmental factors on disease development. Her research group is based in the Department of Plant Sciences. She completed her PhD at Cornell University and was subsequently awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, which she held from 2001-2009. In addition to her role as Director of the DTP, Gail is the deputy director of the MPLS Doctoral Training Centre, a member of the University of Oxford's Graduate Access Working Group and the chair of the UNIQ+ management group. 

Professor Esther Becker: Co Director

esther becker


Esther is a Professor in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences. She studied Medical Biology at the University of Amsterdam, before embarking on her PhD in Cell & Developmental Biology at Harvard University. In 2006, she came to Oxford as a post-doctoral fellow and in 2011 she started her own group as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow. Her work aims to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate brain development and how the impairment of these mechanisms leads to brain dysfunction.

Dr Lucy Taylor: DTP Programme Manager

lucy taylor

Lucy joined the team in August 2022 and is responsible for the day to day administration of the Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP. Lucy is a former Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP student. After completing her DPhil, she went on to be a Postdoctoral Researcher with Save the Elephants, followed by a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ Church college and the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. During her postdoctoral positions, Lucy realised she was more passionate about helping other researchers than doing research herself, so she is delighted to be joining the Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP team.

 Judith Bishop: DTP Programme Administrator


Judith Bishop

Judith joined the DTP in 2020 having previously been the administrative assistant for the DTC for the past 12 months. Before joining the DTC, she worked for the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics for several years in various roles, and brings a strong organisational background to the role. Judith is also a Harassment Advisor within the DTC.

Samantha Taylor: Head of Administration and Finance



Sam is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Doctoral Training Centre. Sam has worked for the University for a number of years prior to joining the DTC, primarily in the area of Graduate Admissions. As well as Academic Administrator, Sam is also the DTC's Disability Advisor. 

Dr Eoin Malins: IT Manager

Eoin Malins


Eoin comes from a research background with an interest in algorithm optimisation for hardware implementations. Having worked at the New York Stock Exchange, APT (Audio Processing Technology), Queen’s University and the University of Ulster, Eoin is now responsible for the smooth running of the staff and student computer systems at the DTC.

Nina Stamps: Administrative Officer

Nina Stamps

Nina joined the DTC as the Administrative Assistant in October 2015 and now administers the DTP's Internship programme. Before working at the DTC, Nina worked in the Registry of the Department for Continuing Education. 

Partner Representatives

Professor Venugopal Nair - The Pirbright Institute

nair v


Venugopal Nair is Head of the Avian Viral Diseases programme at the Pirbright Institute. His research includes multidisciplinary approaches to understand the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of viral diseases affecting poultry health. Research at the Pirbright Institute makes use of the biocontainment facilities and viral disease models in natural target livestock species to understand the molecular virus-host interactions to develop novel strategies for disease control.

Dr Andrew Jones - Oxford Brookes University

andrew jones4

Andrew completed his Biochemistry undergraduate degree at Imperial College London in 1996. He was then awarded a PhD at the University of Leeds in 2000, studying acetylcholinesterase and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the blood fluke, Schistosoma. In 2001 he carried on research of invertebrate cys-loop ligand-gated ion channels at the MRC Functional Genomics Unit, Oxford, until 2011. After a year's postdoctoral research at the Botnar Institute, Oxford, he became Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology and Genomics at Oxford Brookes University in 2012. Andrew's laboratory is interested in gene diversity and the resulting functional/pharmacological properties of ligand-gated ion channels, using genome sequence analysis, molecular biology and electrophysiology. 

Dr Martin Walsh - Diamond Light Source

Martin Walsh
Martin Walsh is Deputy Director of Life Sciences at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s 3rd generation synchrotron source which is also the home to the UK’s national cryo-EM centre, eBIC. He completed a degree in Chemistry at University College Galway followed by a PhD in protein crystallography. He leads a structural biology research group based at Diamond and the Research Complex at Harwell. His group focuses on structure-function studies of medically relevant proteins from bacterial and viral respiratory pathogens and has a particular interest in bacterial biofilms and deciphering antimicrobial resistance mechanisms.

Dr Luke Clifton - ISIS Neutron and Muon Source



Dr Dave Clarke - STFC Central Laser Facility

dave clarke


Dave is head of the STFC Central Laser Facility's Research Complex Division. He is a biochemist interested in the development and application of spectroscopy and imaging techniques for life sciences research. He began this role in 2010, having previously been group leader of the CLF's "Octopus" imaging cluster, a national facility that provides advanced optical microscopy for the research community. Previously he worked on the SRS synchrotron facility at Daresbury laboratory, where he developed and operated a circular dichroism spectroscopy beamline.

Professor Jim Naismith - Rosalind Franklin Institute and Research Complex at Harwell

Jim Naismith


Professor Naismith, former long standing member of Diamond’s board of directors, is a world-leading expert in protein structure determination (by X-ray crystallography) coupled to molecular biology and biochemistry to probe biological mechanisms and to target specific disease pathways. His numerous achievements and decorations include Fellowship of the Royal Society (2014) and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2016).