The boss (allegedly).
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.

LEANNE TAYLOR-SMITH. I have spent my academic career so far at Birmingham, graduating in 2010 with an MSci in Biological Sciences and with a PhD in 2014 investigating the phagosome dynamics of both Streptococcus agalactiae and Cryptococcus neoformans in macrophages. My Post-Doc was spent looking at the role of HIV co-infection in Cryptococcus macropage parasitism and developing an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) infection model for further investigation of Crytococcus vomocytosis. As of January 2018 I am a lecturer in Eukaryotic Microbiology, but I still help out with various projects in the May 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.

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.



PAULA SEOANE. Before coming to Birmingham I did my BSc. in Biochemistry and MSc. in Immunology in Uruguay. In 2015 I joined the HAPI lab as a PhD student. My project focuses on the interaction between Cryptococcus neoformans and macrophages, particularly on the fascinating non-lytic escape mechanism called vomocytosis. I am currently looking at the influence of macrophage activation state on the rate of vomocytosis and further investigating the role of vomocytosis during infection.

VANESSA DA SILVA.  I hold a Bachelor's in Biomedical Science and a Master's in Fungal Biology (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco-UFPE, Brazil). Currently, I am a PhD student at Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, RJ, Brazil.My research interests are focused on the interaction of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans with host cells. I am investigating the participation of unconventional mechanisms of secretion on the dissemination of cryptococcosis. I am also specially interested in the development of novel antifungal therapies. Since October 2017, I have joined the MAY/HAPI Lab as a visiting research student, funded by the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC).


CAT BUCKLEY.  I am a Wellcome Trust funded postdoc investigating lysosomal tubulation and antigen presentation. I spent my PhD at The University of Sheffield working on macropinosome and phagosome maturation and developed an             interest in host-pathogen interactions. I started my postdoc in June 2018 and am a sort of ghost member of the May Lab – currently based in Sergio Grinstein’s lab at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto where I am studying mechanisms of lysosomal tubulation. Over the next few years I am hoping to explore the role of antigen presentation in host-pathogen interactions and move towards looking at how Cryptococcus can evade antigen presentation, hopefully becoming a more present member of the May Lab in the future.




LINDA MILLYARD.  Before coming to Birmingham I spent 8 years at Durham University where I completed my BSc, MRes and PhD. My PhD was focussed upon wheattranscription factors and their role in wheat defence against the fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. In March 2019 I joined the May Group where I am researching the pathogenic algae Prototheca, which infects humans and other animals (mostly milking cows and dogs). The aim is to advance the knowledge surrounding this understudied pathogen, hopefully leading to a more suitable and reliable cure for the infection.

DEBORAH CROOM-CARTER.  I graduated from Warwick University in 1988 with a BSc in Biochemistry and started work at Birmingham University as a Research Technician. I have spent most of my time working on EBV and its association with cancers. I joined the HAPI Lab at the start of 2018 as Laboratory Manager providing health and safety support to the group.

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.

We’re lucky enough to have quite a few ‘satellite’ folk - associated with the lab, but not entirely in it! Some of them are listed here...

ANNE MARIE KRACHLER. Ex-Birmingham Fellow and now at UTHealth, Texas.  More about the Krachler Lab here.

BECKY HALL.  Ex-postdoc in the lab and now an MRC Career Development Award holder and fellow HAPI lab PI.  More on the Hall Lab here.

SIMON JOHNSTON.  Ex May Lab postdoc and now MRC Career Development Fellow and PI of the Johnston Lab at the University of Sheffield.

 LIZ BALLOU.  BBSRC Future Leaders Fellow and fellow HAPI lab PI.  More on the Ballou Lab here.


DAVE MASON. Previous Marie Curie postdoc, now working at the Centre for Cell Imaging in Liverpool.

JENSON LIM.  Ex May Lab postdoc and now a lecturer at the University of Stirling.

HANSONG MA - first ever May Lab PhD student, now a Sir Henry Dale Fellow at the Gurdon Institute, Cambridge.

Check out all the May lab escapees who have moved on from the lab.