Eugenia Piddini (the boss!)
PhD in EMBL Heidelberg, 2002
Postdoctoral work at MRC NIMR, 2002-2009
Group Leader at The Gurdon Institute & University of Cambridge, 2010-2017
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow since 2017
Professor at University of Bristol since 2017
Winner of the BSCB’s 2019 Hooke Medal
NEW: Check out here a new interview of Eugenia in the Journal of Cell Science on the Hooke medal win!
Click here for a previous piece on Eugenia by the Journal of Cell Biology.
My scientific background and interests lie in developmental biology, cell biology and genetics, and I use Drosophila as a model system to study human d iseases including cancer. I did my PhD at Cancer Research UK under the supervision of Nic Tapon, then worked as a postdoc in JP Vincent’s lab at the NIMR, and later in Pete Cullen’s lab here in Bristol. The signalling pathways I researched in previous roles are relevant to cell competition, so I followed the literature with keen interest and was excited when the opportunity arose to investigate cell competition in Eugenia’s lab. In addition to being involved in several research projects, I’m enjoying supervising students who come to work with us and helping to keep the lab running smoothly. Outside of work I love spending time with my family, watching films, reading, chess, running and going out with friends.
After obtaining masters’ in Bioengineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, I moved to Germany to obtain a PhD in Biophysics through Max Planck-EPFL joint Center for Molecular Nanoscience and Technology and continued my research in Biophysics for another year in the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research. Mechano-biology of epithelial tissues has been the major focus of my research whilst working in the Max Planck Society. Realizing the importance of cooperation and communication between cells in dealing with pathological situations such as a wound, I developed keen interest in how cells of an epithelial tissue work as a society to maintain a healthy state and what happens if some members become corrupted, which interestingly, is often the case. This question now brought me to Piddini lab where we are interested in looking at molecular and biophysical mechanisms of cell competition- a situation, when winners (healthy cells) remove the losers (unhealthy cells) to maintain a happy tissue status. Outside the lab, I am inclined to read, do yoga, jogging, hiking and am a fairly good cook!
I came to cell competition research via a detour in neurobiology and immunology. As such, I’ve a keen interest in how cells communicate, defend themselves, and attack each other. I studied biology and liberal arts at the University of Texas at Austin, got a Biochemistry Master’s from the University of Cambridge, and am currently a PhD student at Bristol. Outside the lab, I’m partial to running, diving, reading, and fiction writing.
After being in Eugenia’s lab briefly for my undergraduate final year project, I have joined the group full-time to do more exciting research on cell competition! Outside the lab, I enjoy playing the violin in one of the university’s orchestra, playing badminton as a hobby and baking banana muffins!
Senior Lab Technician
I caught the research bug whilst studying Biomedical Science at UWE Bristol, where I discovered a love for cell biology and signalling. This led to me completing my MRes at Newcastle University, where I helped to develop a 3-dimensional cancer cell model to investigate the NF-ĸB pathway. After graduating, I came to the University of Bristol, where I initially worked in neuroblastoma research before joining the Piddini lab in July 2018. My role in the lab involves looking after the day to day affairs of both the Piddini and Carazo Salas groups, and assisting with the ongoing research into cell competition. I am also a keen science communicator and registered STEM ambassador. When I’m not in the lab, I’m probably at a gig, attempting to win a pub quiz or working through my ever-growing collection of books!