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.

Professor Esther Becker: Co Director

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Esther is an Associate 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.

Jen Massey: DTP Programme Manager

jen massey

Jen joined the team in December 2017 and is responsible for the day to day administration of the Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP. Prior to starting at the DTC, Jen worked in Executive Education at Harvard Business School and in International Relations at the BBC. 

 Judith Bishop: DTP Programme Administrator


Judith Bishop

Judith has recently joined the DTP 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.

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 Harassment 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

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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.

Professor David Carter - Oxford Brookes University

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Dave graduated from York University with a BSc in Biochemistry, which included a year working on the human genome project at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge. He completed his PhD at Cambridge University under the supervision of Dr Peter Fraser. During his PhD he developed a novel assay, ‘RNA-tagging and recovery of associated proteins’, to demonstrate a physical interaction between a locus control region and the β-globin gene. He then worked at Oxford University as a postdoctoral researcher in Prof Peter Cook’s lab, investigating the structure of transcription factories. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science in October 2009 (and recently promoted to Reader) in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University (OBU). Here he established a lab to study the effects of non-coding RNAs and extracellular vesicles in stress response.

Dr Martin Walsh - Diamond Light Source

Martin Walsh

Martin is a structural biologist who co-directs life science research and developments at Diamond Light Source. His group is using a structural approach to aid in the understanding of how gram negative bacteria adhere and persist in the human host and cause disease. In particular the group’s work is focused on the gram negative pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa all of which are important respiratory pathogens. The group uses primarily X-ray crystallography to enable a structure-function approach to understand the molecular basis of bacterial adherence and virulence.

Dr John Webster - ISIS Neutron and Muon Source

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Dr John Webster is the group leader for Large Scale Structures at the STFC ISIS facility. This Group is responsible for instrumentation in Small-Angle Scattering and Reflectometery on both Target station 1 and 2 at the ISIS neutron source. Current personal research interests include Low temperature surfactancy and sustainable biosurfactants.

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).