Lab Members

Postdoctoral Researchers

 

Dr. Amy Beedle (Associate Member)Photo on 21-01-2014 at 14.07
In 2018 I completed my PhD in the Garcia-Manyes where I was using single molecule force spectroscopy AFM to investigate how mechanical forces can modulate the reactivity of individual proteins.  After working in Sergi’s lab using the newly built magnetic tweezers set-up to investigate proteins with low mechanical stability, in 2019 I moved to IBEC (Barcelona) with A Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust to study different aspects of cellular mechanotransduction.
Email: amy.beedle@kcl.ac.uk

Dr. Marc Mora Hortal
Marc-websiteI obtained my Chemistry degree from the University of Barcelona in 2015. During my time here, I undertook a research project in the Self Organized Complexity and Self Assembled Material group, investigating chiral structures in liquid crystals. I obtained my PhD in the Garcia-Manyes lab (funded by Fight for Sight) using single molecule force-clamp spectroscopy to capture the molecular onset of protein misfolding. I am now a postdoctoral researcher in the lab, working on different aspects of mechanobiology.
Email: marc.mora@kcl.ac.uk

Dr. Kateryna Lemishko

I graduated in Chemistry at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine) in 2011 and I obtained my MSc degree in Analytical Chemistry at the same university a year later. In 2014, I obtained a joint European Master’s degree in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modeling at the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) and the University of Perugia (Italy) under the Erasmus Mundus program. In 2020, I completed my Ph.D. in Biophysics at the Autonomous University of Madrid. During my Ph.D. research project, carried out under the supervision of Dr. Borja Ibarra at Imdea Nanoscience Institute, I used Optical Tweezers to study at the single-molecule level the activity of the proteins involved in human mitochondrial DNA replication as well as to study the dynamics of individual synthetic molecular shuttles under force.

I joined the Garcia-Manyes group as a postdoctoral researcher in November 2020

Email: kateryna.lemishko@kcl.ac.uk

 

Dr. Alvaro Alonso-Caballero

My research interests have been focused on understanding the role of mechanical forces on the proteins utilized by bacteria to adhere and colonize hosts. Working at the interphase between physics, chemistry, and biology, I have explored with single-molecule atomic force microscopy and magnetic tweezers how mechanical perturbations regulate processes such as folding or posttranslational modifications in these proteins, which directly affect the infection process. After obtaining my PhD (CIC nanoGUNE, 2013-2017) and completing my first postdoctoral period (Columbia University, 2018-2020), I joined Sergi Garcia-Manyes’ lab at King’s College London to widen my views on how force affects biological systems across scales. From this perspective, my current research is focused on understanding how forces modulate the processes of eukaryotic and bacterial mechanotransduction, from the single-molecule to the single-cell level, to obtain an integrated picture of these processes of crucial importance in disease and pathogenesis.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0284-2562

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alvaro-alonso-caballero-046625146

Email: alvaro.alonso_caballero@kcl.ac.uk

 

Dr. Rafael Tapia-Rojo

I completed my Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Zaragoza, working on the development of computational models at the mesoscopic level and the implementation of free energy methods for an array of biological problems. In 2016, I joined the Fernandez lab at Columbia University as a postdoctoral researcher, where I developed magnetic tweezers instrumentation and studied the physics of protein folding under force.  

In December 2020, I joined the Garcia-Manyes lab as a postdoctoral researcher.  

Email: rafael.rojo@kcl.ac.uk

 

Dr.  Olga Komarynets

I was an undergraduate student of Physiology and Plant Physiology at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. Later I was studying Polycomb-group proteins mediated regulation of plant development in the AG Schubert during my internship at the HHU Düsseldorf. In 2019 I received my PhD degree in Biology from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva where I remained as a postdoc for one more year. I worked on cellular mechanisms of sodium sensing in kidneys via nuclear MR receptor and primary cilia under the supervision of Prof. Eric Feraille. In 2020 I joined the laboratory of Prof. Sergi Garcia-Manyes as a research associate.

Email: olga.komarynets@kcl.ac.uk

 

PhD Students

Sam Gulaidi Breen
SamI am currently a project student enrolled on the molecular biophysics MRes at KCL. My project couples Atomic force microscopy and fluorescence microscopy to investigate cellular nanobiomechanics, and the effects of force on nuclear mechanotransduction. I obtained my BSc in biochemistry at UEA, where I worked on a research project in which I studied the protein-protein interactions of a membrane bound multi-heme cytochrome known as CymA in Shewenella Oneidensis MR-1. Upon completion of my masters, I will begin my PhD studentship at the Francis Crick institute. There, I will undergo a project investigating the unfolding pathways of individual membrane proteins in a lipid bilayer using single molecule force techniques. This project will be under the supervision of Dr Justin Molloy, and Professors Paula Booth and Sergi Garcia-Manyes.
Email: samuel.gulaidi_breen@kcl.ac.uk

Fani Panagaki
I finished my first degree in Crop Science and Plant Genetics from Agricultural University of Athens (AUA), in 2015. After graduating with a MSc from AUA, I obtained an MRes in Biomedical and Molecular Sciences from King’s College London. During my research project I worked on developing a hypoxia sensitive sensor to track cancer cell metastasis in vivo. In October 2017, I started my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Sergi Garcia-Manyes to study how cells react to mechanical forces using a variety of single cell and single molecule techniques such as, single cell / single molecule AFM and magnetic tweezers.
Email : Fani. panagaki@kcl.ac.uk

 

Diana Catana

I finished my MSci. Biochemistry at University College London (UCL), in 2016. During my final research project, I studied amino acid sidechains interactions using NMR spectroscopy. I started my PhD in October 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Sergi Garcia-Manyes within BBSRC’s LiDO/iCASE programme with the project  ‘Coupling optical tweezers with light microscopy to unravel the mechanical forces acting on cellular organelles’.

 
Tong Zhu
I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology in the national life science and technology talent training base at Shandong University in 2017. After graduating, I finished my MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences from Imperial College London where I worked one more year as a research assistant on engineering Turing Patterns in a bacterial chassis with a bottom-up synthetic biology approach. I am currently a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Sergi Garcia-Manyes and Prof. Catherine Shanahan within K-CSC programme with the project Unravelling the Nanomechanics of the LINC Complex across-scales: from single molecules to individual cells”.

 

Lab Technicians

Stephanie BoardStephanie
I studied Biochemistry at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2013. I then completed my MSc in Molecular Cell Biology at the University of Sussex in 2017. My research project was carried out in the lab of Dr Erika Mancini, investigating Protein-Protein interactions for drug discovery efforts. My role as a research technician in the Garcia-Manyes group involves preparation and purification of the polyprotein constructs which are later studied by force spectroscopy.
Email: Stephanie.board@kcl.ac.uk

 

Lab Alumni:

  • Palma Rico Lastres
  • Yong J Wang (Jim)
  • David Giganti
  • Ainhoa Lezamiz
  • Aisling Williams
  • Bob-Dan Lechner
  • Marta Castro-Lopez
  • Josep Relat-Goberna
  • Judit Perales-Calvo
  • Giulia Galli
  • Elvira Infante
  • Andrew Stannard

 

Collaborators

Guillaume Stirnemann
Julio Fernandez

Pere Roca-Cusachs
Catherine Shanahan

Riki Eggert

Juan Martin-Serrano
Jasna Brujic
Carles Solsona
Jonathan King
Mathias Gautel

Paula Booth

Justin Molloy