Postdoctoral Research Associates

Each year outstanding researchers holding recognised postdoctoral positions at the University of Cambridge are granted PDRA status at Queens’ College. The Postdoctoral Research Associates are members of the SCR, given rights to dine at High Table and granted a personal research allowance. This programme allows them to flourish and build relationships in an outstanding academic community.

Our current PDRAs are:

Research interests
Dr Mirjana Efremova Postdoctoral Research Associate My primary research goals are directed towards understanding how cell-cell communication networks in different cellular microenvironments shape diverse cellular responses and functions. In my current research at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, I am applying single cell technologies and computational approaches to study the cellular diversity within the tumour microenvironment and the maternal-fetal interface and to understand the underlaying mechanisms involved in mediating interactions in those environments.
Dr Pau Formosa-Jordan Queens' Postdoctoral Convenor In my current research at the Sainsbury Laboratory, I study different aspects of cell signalling and patterning at the tissue, cellular and subcellular levels. To do so, I am using combined theoretical and experimental approaches involving mathematical modelling and time lapse microscopy of fluorescent markers in plant tissues and in cell cultures.
Dr Arnau Garcia Postdoctoral Research Associate Landscape archaeology Remote sensing and field survey methodologies Cultural Heritage
Dr Nicolaus Heuer Postdoctoral Research Associate My research field is Geometric Groups Theory. I study symmetries (called groups) using several techniques from other fields of pure mathematics, such as geometry, topology, algebra and combinatorics, but also computer science.
Dr Mona Jebril Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate Higher Education; Political Economy; Conflict-affected areas; MENA (Middle East and North Africa); Social justice and Development; Symbolic violence; Interdisciplinary/ multidisciplinary studies.
Dr Ece Kocagöncü Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate Through my postdoctoral projects I am aiming to develop early neurophysiological biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease that predict cognitive decline in individuals who are at risk of developing the disease and help better stratify prodromal Alzheimer’s disease patients from the healthy, as well as from individuals with subjective memory complaints and mild cognitive impairment. Development of non-invasive early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease would help test the effectiveness and sensitivity of experimental medicine, and fast turnover of clinical trials.
Dr Hélène de Maleprade Queens' Postdoctoral Convenor My research focuses on experimental fluid mechanics. My last work aims at understanding the swimming of micro-organisms, typically algae. I study their phototactic behaviour and their swimming in complex environments through series of experiments completed by theoretical models. I am also particularly interested in interfacial and wetting problems, like the dynamical behaviour of drops and bubbles at the vicinity of a solid surface.
Dr Vicente Pérez-Garcia Postdoctoral Research Associate During a successful pregnancy, the placenta allows the vital crosstalk between the mother and the baby. Placental disorders are often the primary cause of several pregnancy complications. I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanism that underlie the abnormal placentation process using in vitro 3D cultures called organoids.
Dr Roushanak Rahmat Postdoctoral Research Associate Medical Image Analysis; Image & Signal Processing; Computer Vision; Machine Learning; Cloud Computing; Artificial Intelligence
Dr Ellen Schmidt Postdoctoral Research Associate I am a statistical geneticist interested in translating genetic evidence for disease association into new medicines. As part of a public-private partnership called Open Targets at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, I use computational approaches to integrate summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and functional experiments to rank and prioritize genes according to their likely functional impact. Results from these analyses are available through an open source web portal to allow all researchers with translational interests to discover and validate safe and effective therapeutic targets and assess opportunities for drug repurposing.
Dr Shan Tang Postdoctoral Research Associate My current research focuses on genetic code expansion and reprogramming. One project I am working on is to identify novel orthogonal synthetase/tRNA pairs to expand the diversity of unnatural amino acids incorporation. Moreover, I am using genetically encoded traps to capture protein/protein, enzyme/substrate interactions in living cells.