Lab Members

Dr Rafael G da Silva – Principal Investigator

I’m a native of Porto Alegre, a city in the south of Brazil. I received a BSc degree in Biology (2002) from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, and MSc (2005) and PhD (2008) degrees in Biochemistry from the same university, under the supervision of Dr Luiz Basso. After post-doctoral training (2008-2012) with Dr Vern Schramm at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, I worked at Pfizer in Connecticut, first as Senior Scientist, then as Principal Scientist (2012-2014). In 2015, I moved to Scotland as a research group leader at the University of St Andrews.

Anna Carberry – Biology PhD Student

I am originally from Bangor in Northern Ireland. I completed a BSc in Joint Honours Biology and Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, where I have stayed to undertake a PhD in the da Silva lab group. My project is sponsored jointly by NuCana and the School of Biology, and aims to elucidate the mechanism human DNPH1 enzyme, whose upregulation has been proposed to grant resistance to PARP-inhibitor chemotherapy in BRCA-negative cancers.

Ennio Pecaver – Biology PhD Student

I am from Selce, a small coastal town in Croatia. I completed a BSc Biochemistry degree in St Andrews and stayed in town to pursue a PhD in the da Silva group. My project is based on functional and structural characterisation of two human tRNA methyltransferases: METTL1 and NSUN2. These enzymes are implicated in reduced chemotherapeutic efficacy of 5-fluorouracil – therefore, characterising them can inform drug discovery and potentially improve cancer treatment. My work is funded by a Cunningham Trust grant.

Lab Alumni

Name – Position in the Lab – Period – Current Post:

Dr Ben Read – PhD Student – 2019 – 2024 – Postdoc at Institute of Cancer Research (London)

Dr Suneeta Devi – Postdoc – 2021 – 2023 – Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool

Erin Laing – MSc(Res) student – 2022 – 2023 – Research Assistant at the BSRC/University of St Andrews

Dr Gemma Fisher – PhD Student – 2017 – 2022 – Scientist at Hammersmith Medicines Research (London)

Dr Teresa Machado – PhD Student – 2016 – 2021 – Postdoc at the Francis Crick Institute (London)

Dr Pamela Sweeney – Postdoc – 2018-2021 – Scientist at Crescendo Biologics (Cambridge)

Dr Catherine Thomson – PhD student – 2015-2019 – Consultant at Deloitte (Edinburgh)