UCL Faculty of Life Sciences


Meet the Experts

Our Faculty is a dynamic environment with a diverse body of expertise across the life sciences. Find out about our academics research and teaching interests, their journeys to UCL, and much more.

Division of Biosciences experts


Seirian Sumner


Professor Seirian Sumner is a behavioural ecologist and entomologist in the Division of Biosciences. Her research focuses on behavioural ecology, biodiversity and conservation.

She is especially interested in social wasps, and is working hard to raise the profile of these ecologically important insects, among both scientific and lay communities. 

Read the interview with Seirian Sumner

Professor Seirian Sumner. Photo credit - Eva Vermandel.

Garrett Hellenthal


Garrett Hellenthal is an Associate Professor at the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI) in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment. His group develops and applies statistical models to genetic data, primarily to learn about the ancestral and evolutionary history of humans.

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Garrett Hellenthal


Mark Thomas


Professor Mark Thomas is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics. He works mainly on biological and cultural aspects of human evolution. Mark uses computer simulation and statistical modelling to make inferences from genetic data.

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Professor Mark Thomas

Joanne Santini


Professor Joanne Santini is a Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Structural and Molecular Biology, which is part of the Division of Biosciences. Her work focuses on a wide range of areas, namely arsenic metabolism, microbial bioleaching, extremophiles, bacteriophages, and gut microbiomes.

Read the interview with Joanne Santini

Professor Joanne Santini

Lucy van Dorp


Dr Lucy van Dorp is a Senior Research Fellow in the UCL Genetics Institute in the Department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment, in the Division of Biosciences. Lucy has worked in the field of microbial genomics at UCL for several years.

Read the interview with Lucy van Dorp

Dr Lucy van Dorp


Tim Blackburn

Professor Tim Blackburn is a Professor of Invasion Biology in the Research Department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment, in the Division of Biosciences. Tim's research primarily addresses questions relating to human-mediated biological invasions.

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Tim Blackburn

Andrea Townsend-Nicholson


Professor Andrea Townsend-Nicholson is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology within the Division of Biosciences at UCL. Her research covers understanding how cells interpret extracellular signals and turn this information into intracellular responses.

Read the interview with Andrea Townsend-Nicholson

Andrea Townsend-Nicholson

Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology experts



Yanlan Mao


Dr Yanlan Mao is a Group Leader and Associate Professor at the Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology. She combines genetics, imaging, biophysics and mathematical modelling approaches to study the role of mechanical forces in tissue development, homeostasis and repair.

Read the interview with Yanlan Mao

Dr Yanlan Mao standing in front of a bookcase

Sainsbury Wellcome Centre experts


Haran Shani-Narkiss


Dr Haran Shani-Narkiss joined the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in 2022 as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Branco lab. Haran uses Deep Neural Networks to better understand how defensive behaviours are generated in the midbrain.

Read the interview with Haran Shani-Narkiss

Dr Haran Shani-Narkiss

Sara Mederos


Dr Sara Mederos joined the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in 2020 as a Research Fellow in the Hofer lab. She is focusing on neural pathways for regulating fear responses depending on previous experience.

Read the interview with Sara Mederos

Sara Mederos

Ann Duan


Dr Ann Duan is a Group Leader at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre. Her research group's goal is to understand how animals make flexible decisions under risk and social influence, and the neural circuit mechanisms underlying these choices.

Read the interview with Ann Duan

Dr Ann Duan working at her lab bench

School of Pharmacy experts


Maryam Parhizkhar


An engineer by trade, Dr Maryam Parhizkar joined the UCL School of Pharmacy in 2019 as a Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Engineering and is the course director of the MSc programmes (MSc Pharmaceutical Formulation and Entrepreneurship).

Read the interview with Maryam Parhizkar

Dr Maryam Parhizkar

Claudia Manzoni


Dr Claudia Manzoni is a Lecturer in Translational Neuroscience at the UCL School of Pharmacy and studies the complex nature of neurodegenerations.

Her latest project is focused on teaching a computer how “to read” different types of patients’ data to find patterns that are invisible to the human eye but can be spotted by an algorithm for Parkinson’s diagnostics.

Read the interview with Claudia Manzoni

Claudia Manzoni

Nadia Bukhari


Nadia Bukhari, Academic Pharmacist and Principal Teaching Fellow at UCL School of Pharmacy, is also a Global Pharmacy Ambassador for UCL. Nadia is also renowned within the industry, both in the UK and internationally, for her campaigns to support the role of the pharmacist and specifically to drive forward opportunities for women in pharmacy.

Read the interview with Nadia Bukhari

Nadia Bukhari



Matthew Todd


Matthew Todd is Chair of Drug Discovery in UCL’s School of Pharmacy. His research focuses on the development of new ways to make molecules - particularly in open science projects where all the research takes place “live and online” in the public domain.

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matthew todd

Ahad Rahim


Ahad Rahim is Professor of Translational Neuroscience at UCL’s School of Pharmacy. Ahad leads a research team that focuses on studying rare paediatric neurodegenerative disorders, more common adult neurological diseases and developing novel therapies.

Read the interview with Ahad Rahim

ahad rahim



Abdul Basit


Abdul Basit is Professor of Pharmaceutics at the UCL School of Pharmacy. Abdul's research focuses on drug delivery, the microbiome, 3D printing of pharmaceuticals and digital health.

Read the interview with Abdul Basit

Abdul Basit