ROBIN MAY. The boss (allegedly). If you’re having trouble sleeping, you can read more about him here

GUILLAUME DESANTI. I obtained a PhD degree in fundamental Immunology (Paris 7 – Denis Diderot University, France) based on my research on “Mouse Foetal Spleen Haematopoietic and Structuring Processes” at the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France). In 2007 I joined the University of Birmingham as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and focused on understanding the importance of the cellular crosstalk between haematopoietic cells (i.e. leucocytes, platelets…) and non-haematopoietic cells (i.e. fibroblasts, epithelial cells…). In August 2017, I joined the May Lab to develop in vivo experimental models of fungal infections in order to discover the mechanisms by which fungi shape the immune responses.

GEMMA WARREN: My undergraduate degree was in Mathematics at the University of Warwick, graduating in 2004. I then joined the MOAC Doctoral Training Centre, also at Warwick, where I completed an MSc and PhD in Mathematical Biology and Biophysical Chemistry, graduating in 2009. I spent three years as a postdoc in Warwick Medical School before moving to Aston University in 2013 to work as a Laboratory Technician.  In 2016 I moved to the University of Birmingham as a Research Technician. I joined the HAPI lab in November 2019 as a part time Lab manager, and my time is split between the HAPI lab and my research technician role in the Grainger Lab.

JOAO CORREIA. I joined the May lab in December 2014, currently splitting my time between the lab and the imaging industry (Cairn Research). My background is in reproduction and cell signalling, where I worked with olfactory receptors expressed in human sperm, investigating their role in regulating behavioural changes like motility and chemotaxis. I also had a spell in cardiovascular sciences where I focused on the interplay between intracellular calcium and actin dynamics and the role of the actin nodule. I am a major microscopy enthusiast and I hope my previous experience in cell signalling and imaging will be of good use to unravel the secrets of the fungal world.

JUDE WILLIAMS. My background is in EU funding & project management & I have worked in this field in Brussels & the UK since graduating from Cardiff University with a BScECON in European Union Studies in 1997. I administer the ERC funded MITOFUN project & work with Robin May providing admin support to the May/HAPI Lab.

CHINAEMEREM (UJU) ONYISHI. I did a joint Genetics and Biological Sciences dual degree from the University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiao Tong Liverpool University (in Suzhou, China) . Following my undergraduate degree, I joined the May lab as a PhD student in September 2019 funded by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh. My PhD project seeks to elucidate the role of Toll-like Receptors in macrophage response to Cryptococcus neoformans infection. And investigate the extent to which human genetic polymorphisms affect macrophage response to infection.

LAMIN SAIDYKHAN.  I obtained a BSc degree in Biology from the University of The Gambia (UTG) in 2009. I have since worked as a Lab Technician at MRC Gambia in 2010 and as a Graduate Assistant at UTG in 2011. In 2015 I completed a Masters degree in Nano Biotechnology at the Universiti Putra Malaysia. My project was focused on the application of Nano-drug carriers for treatment of Osteomyelitis. In April 2018, I joined the MAY Lab as a PhD student of the University of Birmingham and am studying Cryptococcal virulence mechanisms specifically understanding how this fungus interacts with the host’s immune cells like macrophages.

CHRIS SHAVE. I obtained a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford and an MSc in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Nottingham, before coming to Birmingham as an MIBTP PhD student. As part of the MIBTP training year, I investigated the transcriptional basis for systemic immunity in plants, before finally joining the May lab properly. My project aims to identify how a genus of algae, Prototheca, are able to infect vertebrates, with a special focus on cattle and humans, and how that ability evolved. 

HARRIET GIDDINGS. I obtained my undergraduate BMedSc degree in Birmingham, before moving back to Bristol to complete my research Master’s in oral microbiology. My previous work has focussed on oral pathogens and their contribution to systemic diseases. In 2020, I moved back up to Birmingham and joined the May lab where I am continuing to explore my interest in microbiology, mycology and disease, exploring how alveolar macrophages and inflammation in the lung is influenced by combinations of different pathogens

MASHA MAKAROVA. After graduating from Moscow State University I started my PhD at the Russian Cancer Research Centre where I studied hepatocellular carcinoma progression. I then joined Snezhka Oliferenko’s group as a postdoc, first at the National University of Singapore and then moving with the group twice, first to King’s College London and, two years later, to the Francis Crick Institute. During this time, I demonstrated that two related fission yeast species evolved different lipid structures and therefore membranes with different biophysical properties. Now I am at the IMI, I am building on this passion for lipids by investigating membrane dynamics in various cellular processes with a particular focus on fungi.

Quite a few people have passed through the doors of the May Lab over the years. You can find out what they’re all doing now by clicking here. (Some of them are even running their own research groups…remarkably, the experience with us didn’t put them off!)