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Lab members

Current lab members

 Lab 210519

Smith Lab May 2019

Dr Gerard Callejo (Versus Arthritis 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.






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 (CRUK Postdoctoratal 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.  




Luke Pattison - (BBSRC DTP PhD 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 first investigated the expression of sodium-proton exchangers in sensory neurones during a rotation project and will now focus on proton-sensing GPCRs during his PhD.





BeckyBecky Rickman (MPhil Student) - Becky obtained her B.Sc in biochemistry from Imperial College London, UK. During her third year undergraduate she undertook a year placement at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, where she used high content live single cell imaging and analysis to study the dynamics of signalling networks during cytokinesis. She joined the Smith Lab in 2018, and she is investigating the role of GABA and cannabinoid signalling in mouse and naked mole-rat sensory neurons during inflammation.





Katie Barker (AZ/Pharmacology PhD Student) – Katie studied Pharmacology at Newcastle University. During her undergraduate degree she completed a research project at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, investigating the role of the homeobox genes Dlx5&6. She obtained her masters degree at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, examining the role of replication stress in ovarian cancer. Katie joined the Smith lab in 2018 (co-supervised with David Bulmer) and her project focuses on the role of growth factors in visceral pain.








Hendrik Mießner (Beiersdorf PhD Student) – Hendrik obtained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry at the University/Medical School of Hanover, Germany. During his Master's thesis in the field of Neurophysiology, he studied synaptic plasticity with regard to signaling-mediated functions of the protein Neuregulin-1. While working as a research assistant on cortical development, he visited Cambridge in 2017 before and now returned to join the Smith group in 2019 for his PhD on the role of the peripheral nervous system in atopic dermatitis.



Angelo Da Rosa (BBRSC Research Associate). He obtained his MSc in Neuroscience from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil) and his PhD in Pharmacology from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.  Angelo has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institutes on Aging (NIH, USA), Medical University of South Carolina (USA), University of Plymouth (UK) and University of Leeds (UK) having used a variety of techniques to explore numerous aspects of physiology.  Angelo joined the Smith lab in 2019 and his project aims to functionally characterise putative mechanoreceptive neurones in the colorectum



Lab occasions


Congratulations to Sam for winning the best talk prize at the 2019 Pharmacology Away Day!


An August afternoon pint to celebrate publication of Sam's paper in Rheumatology!






At the 2019 Cambridge Science Festival, a film made by Ewan and Jim with DragonLight Films was premiered at the Cambridge Science Festival. Following the film, there was a panel discussion with audience Q&A, compered by Dr Dervila Glynn of Cambridge Neuroscience, and on the panel alongside Ewan and Jim were Rob Heuschkel (Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist) and Deborah Gilbert (Chief Executive of Bowel and Cancer Research). The film can be seen here.




On November 4th 2018, members of the Smith Lab (with some special guests, the jumping Mar and Lučka) ran the BonfireBurn 10 km run to raise money for Versus Arthritis (until recently called Arthritis Research UK and hence the 'wrong' shirts) and Bowel and Cancer Research. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we raised over £500, some of which was generated at a charity cocktail night at Corpus Christ College, organised by Luke and preceded by a talk from Ewan about what pain is and what can go wrong in the joints and gut.


The Smith lab in November 2018

Punting 4aPunting 2b

Punting 3aPunting 5a

A summer punt with the Harper and Bulmer Labs


Lab October 2017

The Smith Lab on a windy day in October 2017

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

Dr Jim Hockley (BBSRC 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. He worked on a variety of projects in the lab to understand the molecular constituents of visceral nociception in the gastrointestinal tract before moving on as an Investigator at GSK in 2019.





MuraliMurali (BCR Postdoctoral Scientist) obtained a masters degree in Biochemistry from Bharathidasan University (India) followed by a PhD in Biophysics/Physiology at the University of Kiel (Germany). Murali studied the structure function relationship and the gating mechanisms of potassium (Kir & K2P) channels. He then joined the University of Cambridge (Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience) where he investigated the role of TRP channels in invertebrate phototransduction. Murali worked on a project to understand the role of 5-HT3 receptor expressing neurons in visceral nociception and left the lab in 2019 to join Cambrex as a Market Intelligence Associate.




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 examined cellular mechanisms underlying pain sensitization in naked mole rats throughout development. In 2018 she started a PhD at Washington University in St. Louis.




Dr Zoé Husson (EMBO Long Term Fellowship Postdoctoral Scientist). Zoe was awarded her PhD in 2014 from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and joined the lab in 2015, working a bit on pain, but mainly on neuronal function in the naked mole-rat brain. Zoé moved on to a postdoc at the University of Bordeaux in 2018.




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. Sin Lih first moved on to do a postdoc at the University of Oxford and then the University of Bristol.







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.





Eva    Parvesh           Grace Zhao

Evangelia Andreopoulou            Parvesh Konda                           Grace Zhao
(summer student 2017)            (summer student 2018)              (summer student 2018)




Jonny Raby, Physiological Society Studentship, 2013