Antoine Hocher


a.hocher [at]

Starting my adventure in pursuing chromatin’s mysteries, a long time interest of mine. First, though, I will study the rather mysterious chromosomes of thermophilic archaea. Outside of the lab you can probably find me in a record shop.

Vassili Kusmartsev

PhD student

v.kusmartsev16 [at]

A new location and new research! I have broad interests, and am excited to be investigating the effect and mechanisms of selective pressures on genomes. Outside the office I enjoy tennis, music, and drinks (responsibly). A relevant quote from Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried, ever failed, no matter; try again, fail again, fail better."

Valerie W.C. Soo


v.soo [at]

I have broad interests in all things related to E. coli (thanks, Ecocyc!), particularly on understanding how different molecules evolve and/or interact to affect its phenotypes. My other less ambitious hobbies include reading, running, traveling, and photography.

Katie Stevens

PhD student

k.stevens18 [at]

I am a PhD student interested in archaeal histones. Before moving to London I did my Masters at UEA and worked in Cambridge studying fly brains. In my spare time I enjoy exploring London, walking and trying to convince myself to go running more often.

Jacob Swadling


jacob.swadling [at]

My Ph.D. was on the topic of Origins of Life Chemistry. Following this, I spent time calculating drug binding affinities at UCL then moved to Tokyo for three years where I simulated protein-nucleic acid complexes and ate a lot of ramen. Now I’m back in the UK where I am using forcefield techniques to predict epistasis in proteins, and when I have time, trying to beat Strava segments on my bike.

Tobias Warnecke

Group Leader

tobias.warnecke [at]

My main role in the lab is not to get in the way too much, provide free coffee and, very occasionally, useful feedback. My current obsessions include chromatin, archaea, chaperones and octopodes, not necessarily in combination.