Committee and Representatives

The committee is here to ensure that your experience as a Postdoc / Early Career Researcher is as rewarding as possible.

Postdoctoral / Early Career Researcher Academic Committee


Postdoctoral / Early Career Researcher Postdoc Representatives

Ghazala Begum


Ghazala successfully completed her PhD in Neuroendocrinology from the University of Manchester in 2014 which focused on investigating the epigenetic and transcriptional regulation of the energy regulating pathway in the hypothalamus. She then pursued a postdoc in Dr Daniel Fulton’s lab at the University of Birmingham identifying novel transcriptional targets of excitotoxicity in oligodendrocytes. In 2016 she joined the SRMRC in the department of Inflammation and Ageing under the supervision of Professor Ann Logan and Lt Col Richard Blanch lab. Her role is to identify novel therapies of ocular disease and their epigenetic regulation and identifying methods to assess the delivery of these treatments to the back of the eye. Overall her research has contributed to several highly cited publications and well received oral presentations at national and international conferences. She also regularly engages in public engagement events such as Brain Awareness Week and the NHS showcase.

Jennifer Bryant

Jennifer Bryant

I am a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow within InHANSE (Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education). I received my PhD in Molecular Cancer Studies in 2015 from the University of Manchester and shortly afterwards joined the University of Birmingham. Here, I focus on pre-clinical evaluation of repurposed drugs for the treatment of head and neck cancer through use of in vitro and in vivo techniques.

Robert Harper

Robert HarperRobert is in the second year of his 4 year postdoc in the school of dentistry having completed a masters degree in chemistry and a pharmaceutical science PhD. He now works on developing novel protocols to enhance the understanding of the physicochemical changes that occur during dental caries disease progression for modelling and explores novel preventative treatments.

Claire Hepburn


Hello fellow early/mid-career researchers, I am Claire Hepburn, a post-doc in the Heart Failure and Arrhythymias Cluster in ICVS. I joined the university in 2016. My research focuses on the role of desmosomal vulnerability in atrial arrhythmias.

I have only recently taken up the role on the PERCAT committee as the ICVS representative but starting at UoB, I have frequently attended the PERCAT events. These have been instrumental in shaping my development since joining the university and I am keen to help contribute to the continuing provision of this invaluable support network for early/mid-career researchers.

If you ever see me in the corridors of the Medical School/IBR, please feel free to stop me to say hello!

Louisa Jeffery

LouisaJeffery-Cropped-130x178Dear Postdocs and Early Career Researchers,

I have been a member of the college postdoctoral community since January 2011 prior to which I completed my PhD here under Professor David Sansom and Prof Karim Raza. I became a postdoc rep for PERCAT in 2012 and have served on the committee ever since. It has been exciting to be part of PERCAT as it has developed, providing greater research and alternative career support for postdocs, building a more integrated postdoc community and raising the postdoc voice at higher management levels. Through this role I have also been invited to represent MDS postdocs on the university-wide researcher support group and the education@mds committee through which I am helping to facilitate greater postdoc involvement in college teaching.  

In my own research I am interested in T cell differentiation and responses to environmental modifiers as well as therapeutic interventions in inflammatory disease. I have presented my work at several national and international conferences as well as the SET for Britain poster conference held at the Houses of Parliament. In addition I enjoy contributing to student teaching where I serve as a tutor, lecturer and project supervisor. I am also an editor for the British Society of Immunology online tutorial resource BiteSized Immunology and enjoy helping with public outreach activities.

I consider myself to be approachable, attentive, and truly interested in the needs of others. Therefore, please approach me at any time for advice or with suggestions of ways to improve the postdoctoral/ early career researcher training programme or facilities.

Bai Li

bai-li-picDear Postdocs and Early Career Researchers,

Dr Bai Li (also known as Stacey) works at the Institute of Applied Health Research within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. For the last 10 years, her work has focused on the development and evaluation of complex interventions using mixed methods. She is interested in modifiable risk factors and prevention of obesity as well as other preventable non-communicable diseases in both developing and developed countries.

Bai has been the Insitute’s Rep and a committee member for PERCAT since 2014. She helps with the planning, promotion and running of Masterclasses, annual Research Galas (involving partnerships with British and foreign Universities) and other career development events.

Outside academia, Bai is an artist and musician. She has won international gold/silver/bronze prizes for drawing, singing and music recital. She has exhibited her art work (some permanently) in over 9 countries including the UK, US, Japan, Russia, Norway, Mongolia and China (mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan). 

Richard Powell

Richard PowellI am currently a Post Doctoral research fellow funded by CRUK investigating myeloid derived suppressor cells in pancreatic cancer. I am part of the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, and I'm currently based in the CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies and Denis Howell Building.

Helen Stone

Helen StoneDear Postdocs and Early Career Researchers,

I have been a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences from June 2015. However I have been associated with the Institute since 2011 when I started my PhD with Prof Jo Morris. My research focuses on the role of small modifier proteins on DNA replication and DNA damage. Beyond my research I am involved in small group teaching and more recently I have given lectures, as well as supervising students in the lab. Alongside this I enjoy taking part in Public Engagement activities, including lab tours, events at ThinkTank museum and through Social Media.

Outside of academia I enjoy exercising, taking part in classes at the University gym, playing badminton and being a member of a local running club. I am also an avid baker, organising charity bake sales within the department, selling cakes at local events and baking wedding and birthday cakes for friends and family.

I am always willing to help as much as I can and hope that people find me a happy, friendly and approachable person. If you have any further questions or would like advice please no not hesitate contact me on

Alpesh Thakker

Alpesh ThakkerAlpesh has been a research fellow in Dr. Tennant’s group since March 2016, optimising analytical methods for the analysis of stable isotope incorporation into cellular metabolites. Before this he completed a BSc in Pharmacy from the University of Pune in India, an MSc in Biotechnology from Victoria University in Australia and a PhD at Aston University in the UK, where he developed mass spectrometry-based approaches to study the oxidised lipidome in inflammatory disease models.

Grace Turner

Grace TurnerGrace Turner is a NIHR Postdoc Fellow at the Centre for Patient Reported Outcomes Research within the Institute for Applied Health Research. Grace is a mixed methods researcher and is currently undertaking a NIHR postdoc fellowship focused on stroke rehabilitation. Grace also leads a programme of research which aims to develop a pathway for the electronic capture of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in trauma care. Grace is passionate about building capacity for early/mid-career researchers in her roles as co-chair of the Institute Early Career Researchers Group and IAHR representative PERCAT.

Nina Vyas

Nina Vyas

Nina is a postdoc in the School of Dentistry. She does interdisciplinary research in collaboration with researchers in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. She researches the use of cavitation bubbles for cleaning teeth and dental implants.

Malou Zuidscherwoude

Malou Zuidscherwoude

I am Malou Zuidscherwoude from the Netherlands and I started my first postdoc here in 2016 in the Platelet group of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICVS). I’m interested in the role of the cytoskeleton in platelet formation and the organisation of platelet receptors on the plasma membrane. I study this using advanced microscopy techniques within the Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE).

I’ve been a member of the PERCAT committee as a postdoc rep for ICVS since May 2016 and co-organised not only research related events, including the PERCAT research Gala, but also social events, like the PERCAT pub quiz. My aim is to make you think about your career options either within academia or alternative paths, and help you prepare to get to this next stage in your career, while keeping an eye on your wellbeing at the work place as well. Don’t hesitate to approach or contact me if you have a suggestion to improve our PERCAT programme or need more information or advice.