Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Microscopic image showing RNA
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

RNA Biology Research Group

BSMS > Research > Clinical and experimental medicine > RNA-Biology-Research-Group

RNA Biology Research Group

The RNA Biology Group is a network of eleven laboratories based in BSMS as well as Life Sciences, University of Sussex. 
Someone wearing a white lab coat and purple latex gloves pouring a clear liquid into a petri dish


Members of the group share common interests in the way that RNA molecules can regulate the expression of genes important for cellular processes such as proliferation and migration, as well as human diseases. The group works on interlinked but complementary projects using a diverse range of organisms and techniques with the ultimate aim of understanding the ways that RNA-based regulation can be manipulated to alleviate human disease.

The RNA Biology group meet regularly to share ideas and discuss their research findings. They also collaborate in dissemination of technical skills between postdocs, PhD students, Masters students and undergraduate students to encourage and train the next generation of RNA biologists.

The group continues to work together in the purchase of specialist equipment (a polysome profiling machine) and to fund external speakers and workshops (eg a RNA Salon grant from the RNA Society). 

The RNA research group is funded by the MRC, BBSRC, Action for Cancer, Motor Neurone Disease Association, LUPUS UK, the RNA Society, BSMS and Life Sciences.

Meet the team

Members of the group and their specific research interests are listed below: 

1. Dr Leandro Castellano (Life Sciences): Role of non-coding RNAs in cancer. 

2. Dr John Jones (BSMS): Role of long non-coding RNAs and other factors in the pathogenesis of high risk multiple myeloma.

3. Prof Majid Hafezparast (Life Sciences): Role of non-coding RNAs as biomarkers in motor neurone disease and neuroinflammation.

4. Rhys Morgan (Life Sciences): Role of β-catenin in post-transcriptional gene expression; RNA binding protein networks in AML. 

5. Prof Sarah Newbury (BSMS): Role of microRNAs, long-noncoding RNAs and RNA stability in development and disease.

6. Dr Tony Oliver (Life Sciences): Structural understanding of protein complexes involved in R-loop resolution and processing

7. Dr Mark Paget (Life Sciences): Molecular mechanisms underlying the adaptive responses of bacteria to stress including control of transcription

8. Prof Sandra Sacre (BSMS): Control of inflammation by microRNAs. 

9. Ben Towler (Life Sciences): Molecular mechanisms underlying targeted RNA degradation to control gene expression. 

10. Prof Simon Waddell (BSMS): Transcriptional profiling mycobacterial host-pathogen interactions and drug responses.

11. Dr Mel Flint (School of Applied Sciences, University of Brighton): Interplay between stress hormones the immune system and cancer cells.

A photograph from an RNA event, showing bunting with flags of the world, with people sitting on the grass eating.


The Sussex RNA Research Group meetings take place once per month on Mondays and include a free lunch. The programme is available from Prof Sarah Newbury ( or Dr Oliver Rogoyski (

Microscopic image showing RNA