Dr. Joanna Somers
Career Development Fellow
MRC Toxicology Unit
PO Box 138
University of Leicester
Lancaster Road, Leicester
LE1 9HN, UK
Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5614
Qualifications and Personal History
2010-2014 Joined Professor Anne Willis’ laboratory as a MRC Career Development Fellow.
2008-2010 Postdoctoral research scientist at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, UK. The project involved characterising novel p53 target genes in the laboratory of Professor Kevin Ryan.
2005-2008 PhD. Thesis: Investigating the relationship between nucleosome structure and dynamics. Supervisor Professor Tom Owen-Hughes, Wellcome Trust Centre of Gene Regulation and Expression, University of Dundee, UK.
2003-2005 MSc First Class Honours. Thesis: Screening for differentially expressed genes in bovine nuclear transfer blastocysts. Supervisors: Dr Peter Pfeffer and Dr Lance McLeay, University of Waikato, New Zealand.
Our cells are constantly exposed to environmental stresses that can cause DNA damage. Without proper repair mutations would accumulate that lead to erroneous function and potentially the development of cancer. To counter this cells have evolved various DNA response and repair pathways.
Our laboratory has shown that after exposure of Hela cells to UVB damage a number of transcripts escape the global repression of protein synthesis. Of particular note is the translational upregulation of the nucleotide excision repair pathway genes (Powley et al., 2009). My project aims to identify the control elements and trans-acting factors that perform these specific translational reprogramming events.