JKing crop copy 2Jason King, Principal Investigator

I followed up my degree in Medical Biochemistry, with an MPhil(Res) in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Birmingham in 2000.  I then did a PhD in the lab of Adrian Harwood first at the LMCB in London, then Cardiff University, studying how lithium treatment (still widely used to tread bipolar disorder) affects cellular signalling. I subsequently did a 6-year postdoc in the lab of Robert Insall at the CR-UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow. There, after initially working on cell migration and division I was able to develop my interests in autophagy and trafficking. In 2013 I was awarded a Vice-Chancellors Advanced Fellowship by the University of Sheffield to establish an independent research group, which was followed by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, awarded in 2015.

Ben PhillipsBen Phillips: PhD student

Ben is a BBSRC-funded PhD student, who joined the lab in 2014. He is trying to understand how cells  induce autophagy in response to mechanical stress, and the relevance of this to human physiology.





Georgina Starling: PhD student

George is a Royal Society funded student, who joined us in 2015. She is studying a previously uncharacterised protein that regulates microtubule dynamics and ultimately all lysosomal degradation pathways





James Vines: PhD student

James joined us in 2018, and is also funded by the Royal Society. He is trying to understand how macropinosome and phagosome maturation is regulated, and how this affects the survival of bacteria after engulfment.


Chris Munn: PhD Student

Chris is jointly supervised with Laura Swan at the University of Liverpool and funded by the MRC DiMEN doctoral training programme. He is exploiting Dictyostelium  as a model system to understand the roles of the protein OCRL – the causative gene mutated in Lowe Syndrome, and a key regulator of cellular trafficking pathways.


Zamzam Mahamoud: BMedSci student

Zamzam is with us for a year, and is investigating how fungal natural products affect the ability of amoebae to feed – interactions that may be important both environmentally and  during the evolution of fungal pathogenicity.

Past members

Cat Buckley: PhD student. 

Cat  joined the lab as a PhD student in 2014. In 2018 she graduated and left to take up a Henry Wellcome fellowship to work on macropinosome and phagosome processing in the Grinstein and May labs.

Rhys Watkins and Alex Andrews : BMedSci students

Rhys and Alex helped develop a new experimental system using Dictyostelium as a model host for the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.








University of Sheffield