The Hopkinson Group

Group members

Postdoctoral Researchers

Vicki Emms (2019-)

Vicki completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Imperial College London. She then worked at the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit in the Cancer, Biomarkers and Prevention group, for 7 years, before training as a secondary school chemistry teacher. Vicki re-joined the University of Leicester to complete a Masters in Biological Chemistry in 2013, working in the Jamieson group synthesising hydrocarbon stapled peptides. She went on to undertake her PhD studies at Leicester with Mark Lowe and Paul Cullis developing the use of polyamines as a cancer-specific tool to deliver theranostic metal complexes. In 2019 she joined the Hopkinson group as a postdoctoral researcher to investigate the potential of formaldehyde to modulate efficacy of the chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine.

In her spare time she enjoys photography and walking in the countryside.

PhD students

Natasha Bulman (2018-)

Natasha completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry with Forensic Science at the University of Leicester, achieving a First Class Hons. She conducted her fourth year Masters research project with the Lowe group in the development of phototunable iridium complexes for biological imaging. In 2018, she joined the Hopkinson group to complete her PhD, where her project focusses on developing small molecules that manipulate cellular formaldehyde.

Outside of the lab, she enjoys cooking for family and friends and is a lifelong supporter of Leicester City Football Club.

Sara Chothia (2019-)

Sara underwent an undergraduate MChem degree at the University of Leicester in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. During her third year, she worked in industry as a student scientist at LGC in Cambridgeshire, extracting and analysing clinical samples to determine suitable drug dosage. Her Masters project was completed under the supervision of Dr Richard Doveston, using biophysical techniques to study protein-protein interactions. Sara was awarded a PhD studentship to develop methods to quantify formaldehyde from biological samples, and to determine the biochemistry of human formaldehyde metabolism.

In her free time, Sara enjoys travel, football, films and trying to learn Spanish.

Liam Lewis (2020-)

Liam completed his MChem degree at the University of Leicester in Chemistry with Forensic Science. His masters research was completed under the guidance of Dr James Hodgkinson. Liam joins the group through a graduate teaching assistantship where he will be focussing on studying acetaldehyde, a key metabolite of ethanol.

Outside of chemistry, Liam is an avid rugby fan and loves country music.

Lauren Abbott (2020-)

 Lauren studied her undergraduate MChem degree at the University of York. In her final year she completed a research project at the John Innes Centre, under the supervision of Anthony Maxwell. She is now studying for a PhD, co-supervised by Dr. Kayoko Tanaka, probing how reactive small molecules in cells regulate the oncogenic KRAS.G12C GTPase.

In addition to her scientific interests, Lauren also loves music, gaming, and animals.

Our group has also welcomed a number of final year MChem project students, MSc project students, and Summer students.

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