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Research groups

D. Phil Supervisory Opportunities

We welcome applications from students interested in pursuing research on the biochemistry, genetics, structural biology and cell biology of DNA repair. Several areas of major focus include:

- Understanding the molecular machines that repair damaged DNA replication forks, and are defective in Fanconi anaemia.

- Inhibiting DNA repair enzymes for the benefit of cancer therapy.

- Understanding how the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway processes DNA crosslinks.

- Characterisation of the SARS-Cov-2 nsp14-nsp10 complex: How does this complex maintain viral genome stability and is it druggable? 

Peter McHugh

Professor of Molecular Oncology

Research Summary

We aim to understand how repair of damaged DNA is controlled during chromosome duplication, and why potentially dangerous changes in the behaviour of cells can occur when this process goes wrong. We also hope use this improved knowledge of DNA damage and its repair to improve treatments for cancer.


Following post-doctoral research at University College London, Peter McHugh was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2001. In 2003 he joined the Oncology Laboratories at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, where he now heads the DNA Damage and Repair research group.

He is a regular presenter to CRUK fundraisers, and is a co-organiser of the UK Genome Stability Network Annual meeting and of the FEBS Nucleotide Excision Repair and Interstrand Crosslink repair meeting.


Sanja Brolih, DPhil Student (MRC)
Abimael Cruz-Migoni, Postdoctoral Researcher (MRC)
Jennifer Gurnett, Postdoctoral Researcher (MRC)
Matthew Harris, D.Phil Student (Wellcome, with Yang Shi and Chris Schofield)
Lucy Henderson, D.Phil Student (Wellcome)
William Nathan, D.Phil Student (NIH-OxCam, with Andre Nussenzweig)
Malitha Ratnaweera, D. Phil Student (MRC)
Lonnie Swift, Postdoctoral Researcher (CR-UK)