Core Biotechnology Services

College of Life Sciences Imaging Steering group

The University of Leicester Imaging Steering group oversees the use and maintenance of current imaging equipment within the College of Life Sciences as well as investigating the potential to acquire new equipment that will enhance world-leading research. The group oversees the Advanced Imaging Facility, Electron Microscope Facility, Histology facility and Flow Cytometry.

James Higgins - Chair

Department of Genetics and Genome Biology

James is an Associate Professor in Plant Molecular Cell Biology. The focus of Dr Higgins’ research is to unravel the mechanisms governing meiotic crossover frequency and distribution in model plants including Arabidopsis, barley, wheat and rice. He uses genetic, SRM and genomic techniques to answer fundamental biological questions regarding the function of meiotic genes that ensure correct chromosome pairing synapsis and crossing over to promote balanced segregation of chromosomes into haploid gametes. The knowledge of meiotic recombination in Arabidopsis is translated to important agronomical crop species such as wheat and barley. This knowledge will benefit plant breeders by altering crossover distribution in important crop plants. He has published 45 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Nat Genetics, EMBO J, Plant Cell and PLoS Genetics. Dr Higgins holds multiple BBSRC grants, including an sLOLA as well as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks.

Learn more about James Higgins

Yolanda Markaki - Deputy Chair

LISCB, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Dr Markaki uses advanced fluorescence light microscopy methods with emphasis on quantitative super-resolution microscopy (SRM) to study genome organization and nuclear function. She carried out her postdoctoral training at the Center of Advanced Light Microscopy, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich next to Prof Thomas Cremer and later moved to the University of California, Los Angeles to work on stem cell systems in the lab of Prof Kathrin Plath. Yolanda has supported the development of three advanced light microscopy facilities, she has 12 years+ experience in SRM and has authored very popular peer-reviewed protocols and methods on SRM and fluorescence microscopy. She is also the Editor of Methods in Molecular Biology (MiMB) on Light Microscopy (ISBN-10:1493983059). Yolanda has led several Advanced Imaging and Image Analysis workshops and lectures and she is actively engaging with students and staff in designing fluorescence microscopy experiments, image analysis pipelines and troubleshooting.

Learn more about Yolanda Markaki

Kayoko Tanaka - Academic lead

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Kayoko is a Lecturer of Cell Signalling and Cytoskeleton Regulation and the academic lead of the Leicester Advanced Imaging Facility. Her research interests are small G protein signalling withfocus on the oncogenic K-Ras signalling. The research goal is to reveal the molecular mechanism of oncogenic-RAS-driven tumorigenesis. Her lab uses both human cell culture and a powerful model system fission yeast to highlight the key conserved features of the Ras signalling. Her publications include those in NAR and J Cell Biol.

Learn more about Kayoko Tanaka

Natalie Allcock

Electron Microscopy Facility

Natalie is the Facility Manager Electron Microscopy Facility.

Learn more about the Electron Microscopy Facility

David Cousins

Department of Respiratory Sciences

David is a Professor in the Department of Respiratory Sciences. His research interests are the role of the immune system in respiratory diseases, such as Asthma and COPD, and also the fundamental biology of Type 2 immune responses. His lab uses a variety of molecular biology methods and multi-parameter flow cytometry to probe immune function. 

Angie Gillies

Histology Facility

Learn more about the Histology Facility

Kees Straatman

Advanced Imaging Facility

Dr Straatman is Senior Experimental Officer and Manager of the Advanced Imaging Facility (AIF) at Leicester (since 2007). AIF offers access to a wide range of advanced microscope systems (mostly fluorescence microscopes) as well as image analysis resources. The facility offers training, technical assistance, advice and collaborations on microscopy-related projects. Kees provides support for the planning and practical preparation of a wide range of samples. He is familiar with the major functionalities of the instrument applied for and its software. He will, therefore, be able to oversee daily operations and troubleshooting with ease and perform routine trainings using the ZEN interface with which he is very familiar. Kees organises ImageJ workshops, run twice a year with local, national and international participants. Also the RMS preconference ImageJ workshops MMC 2014, MMC 2015, MMC2017, MMC2019 and MMC2021. Kees also co-supervises PhD students.

Learn more about Kees Straatman

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