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Lab members

Current lab members

Lab October 2017

The Smith Lab on a windy day in October 2017

Dr Zoé Husson (EMBO Long Term Fellowship Postdoctoral Scientist). Zoe was awarded her PhD in 2014 from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where she studied the neurophysiology of inhibitory neurones in the mouse cerebellum. Joining the lab in 2015, Zoé’s post-doctoral project focuses on investigating mechanisms of neuronal hypoxia tolerance in naked mole-rats.



Dr Gerard Callejo (Arthritis Research UK Postdoctoral Scientist). Gerard read Biology and Biochemistry in the Autonomous University of Barcelona, before completing his PhD in Neuroscience in 2015 also at the University of Barcelona, which focused on understanding the role of acid-sensing ion channels in inflammation and ocular pain. He joined the lab in March 2016 and his project is to further understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying pain perception in rheumatoid arthritis.





Dr Jim Hockley (Postdoctoral Scientist). Jim holds a Master of Biochemistry degree from the University of Bath and completed his PhD on voltage gated sodium channel NaV1.9 in visceral nociception at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. He worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Neuroscience and Pain Research Unit in Pfizer before joining the lab in 2016. His current project uses a variety of techniques to understand the molecular constituents of visceral nociception in the gastrointestinal tract.






 Toni Taylor (Vice Chancellor's Award PhD Student). Toni studied Biomedical Science with Professional Experience at Brunel University London. As part of her Bachelor's degree she completed a year long placement at Pfizer working on the role of SK2 channels in Purkinje cell physiology. Joining the Smith Lab in 2016, she is investigating the role of neuropeptides in colonic sensory neurons.





Sampurna Chakrabarti (Gates Cambridge Scholar PhD Student). Sampurna obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences (Neuroscience track) and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA where her undergraduate thesis was on characterization of alpha 3 glycine receptors with Ginkgolide B and Picrotoxin.  She joined the Smith Lab in October 2016 and will be looking to develop neuronal co-culture techniques to study arthritic pain. In her spare time, she likes to paint and write a neuroscience blog.





Yavuz kulaberoglu (Post-doctoratal scientist). He was awarded Master of science degree in Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Research at King`s College London. In 2016, he completed his PhD in UCL Cancer Institute at University College London. His PhD focused on deciphering complex protein-protein interaction networks of the tumour suppressor MOB1 in Hippo signalling. He joined the Smith Lab in 2016 and his project focuses on understanding molecular mechanism of how the naked mole-rat is resistance to tumour development.  




Jiwon Yi - (Downing Scholar MPhil Student). Jiwon obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, USA. Her undergraduate research examined hippocampal LTP, learning and memory in rodent models of depression and ADHD. She joined the Smith Lab in 2017, and she will be examining cellular mechanism underlying pain sensitization in naked mole rats throughout development.




Luke Pattison - (BBSRC DTP Rotation Student). Luke studied Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Bath. During his undergraduate degree he undertook a year long placement at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Melbourne, Australia, where he studied the compartmentalised signalling of a G protein-coupled receptor implicated in inflammatory pain. While in the Smith Lab he will investigate the expression of sodium-proton exchangers in sensory neurones.




Lab occasions


Saying goodbye to our summer student Eva, August 2017


A summer punt to celebrate Sin Lih’s PhD defence.



At the 2017 Cambridge Neuroscience BRAINFest, members of the Smith lab teamed up with Michael Lee’s team from the Cambridge Pain Clinic to explain how chilli causes pain! Ewan also gave a talk on the wonders of the naked mole-rat.



The Smith lab had a strong presence at the 2017 Cambridge Neuroscience Seminar: The Inflamed Brain. Jim was selected to present his poster in a 2 minute data blitz session, and Jim, Sam and Toni all presented posters.


 Welcoming new members to the lab: Sam, Toni and Yavuz, October 2016


 Smith Lab, June 2016

Celebrating Zoé being awarded an EMBO Long Term Fellowship



Punting Punting 4
Punting Punting 6

Punting with the JAS and RML labs


Lab alumni


Sin Lih Tan (Cambridge International Trust/Yousef Jameel PhD Student). Sin Lih studied Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield before starting her PhD in 2013. She worked on the synergistic effect of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors in lysosome function.







Laura patchingLaura Schuhmacher (BBSRC DTP PhD Student 2013-16). Laura submitted her thesis entitled, "Characterisation of Acid Sensitive Proteins Involved in Nociception and the Regulation of Breathing" in September 2016 and has moved on to postdoctoral work at UCL/Crick Institute.





Jonny Raby, Physiological Society Studentship, 2013