Richards Group

Recent group news


  • January: Congratulations to Alaina on her Stem Cell Reports paper on "Biophysical models of early mammalian embryogenesis"!
  • January: Our paper on "DNA Methylation of α-Synuclein Intron 1 Is Significantly Decreased in the Frontal Cortex of Parkinson's Individuals with GBA1 Mutations" is now published in Int J Mol Sci
  • February: Outreach on microsporidia project at St James School
  • February: Our NC3Rs/BBSRC grant on "A novel in silico framework for early mammalian embryo development" has started!
  • March: Massive congratulations to Jordan on passing his PhD viva with only minor corrections
  • April: Our review on "Organelle Membrane Extensions in Mammalian Cells" is now out
  • April: Launch of the Exeter Health Analytics network!
  • August: Jordan's paper on "Automatic extraction of actin networks in plants" has now appeared in PLOS Computational Biology
  • September: Peyman's and Sophie's paper on "Dynamic calcium-mediated stress response and recovery signatures in the fungal pathogen, Candida albicans" is due to appear in mBio


  • March: Welcome to Dr Jim Lees, who has joined the group to work on experimental aspects of phagocytosis
  • May: Great talk by Jordan at the SEB Annual Conference in Montpellier
  • September: Welcome to Sophie Nye, who is starting an MRC-funded GW4 BioMed2 PhD with us on Candida albicans
  • September: Fun had by all at the group escape room outing!
  • September: Welcome to Ifeoma Nwabufo, an African Master's in Machine Intelligence (AMMI) student based at AIMS Senegal, who is doing her Master's project on "A machine learning approach to identifying and quantifying microglia activation through cell shape" with us
  • October: Fungal outreach exhibit at UK Fungus Day
  • November: Another outing of the fungal exhibit, this time at the HLS launch event
  • December: Christmas outing at On The Waterfront


  • February: Launch of the new EPSRC Hub for Quantitative Modelling in Healthcare!
  • March: Launch meeting of the Exeter Microfluidics Network
  • July: Translational Research Exchange @ Exeter, Hub for Quantitative Modelling in Health & Institute of Data Science and Artifical Intelligence networking event
  • September: Congratulations to Ge and David for being awarded an LSI Catalyst Fund
  • September: Welcome to Alaina who has just joined us for a PhD on modelling human blastocyst development
  • October: Congratulations to David who is now a Turing Fellow!
  • October: Fun time at the Sidmouth Science Festival with our exhibit about how fungi grow
  • October: Goodbye and all the best to Ram, who has now started a new post-doc at KCL
  • December: Christmas meal in the Mill on the Exe!


  • February: Great talk by Ram in the Biophysics seminar series
  • March: Two great talks by Jordan - one in the LSI and one in Physics
  • April: Our paper on noise in endocrine cells is published! (PLOS Comput Biol 16(4):e1007769; see PubMed)
  • May: The MFF paper is now out! Well done Josiah and everyone! (Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res 1867(7):118709; see PubMed)
  • June: Springer book on "Molecular and Cellular Biology of Phagocytosis" now published, including chapter on "Receptor models of phagocytosis: the effect of target shape" (Adv Exp Med Biol 1246:55-70; see PubMed)
  • June: Lab move going well - almost completed the move to B02.17
  • June: Alaina starts her summer project - all run online without ever meeting in person!
  • September: Welcome to Amber Connerton, our latest BBSRC SWBio student
  • September: Welcome to Peyman Shadmani who has now started his PhD on "Models of cell shape during phagocytosis"
  • December: Good bye to Charlie Jeynes, long-term collaborator, who is now working for Evotec!


  • January: Great news: we got awarded a GW4 Initiator Fund for "GW4 NanoEvade: Smart design of nanoparticle-drugs to evade the immune response"!
  • January: Our latest Wellcome Trust funded CBMA seed corn on "Modelling penetration of nanoparticle-drugs across biological barriers" has started
  • February: GW4 Initiator kick-off in Bristol with Charlie Jeynes!
  • February: Talk at the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham on "Reaction-diffusion systems in biology and biomedicine"
  • March: GW4 NanoEvade meeting in Bristol with the whole team
  • March: Welcome to Ram Attili who joins our group as an MRC-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work on "The Fundamentals of Phagocytosis: Integrating Theoretical Models and Experiments"
  • April: Our Malvern Panalytical NanoSight LM10 is funded - good work Dr Charlie Jeynes!
  • June: Welcome to Trish Thomas as she starts her MRC fellowship in the LSI!
  • July: GW4 NanoMedicine Workshop in Exeter with over 50 participants - see the website
  • July: Massive congratulations to Trish for passing her PhD viva!
  • November: Josiah has passed his PhD viva! Well done!
  • December: Group Christmas lunch at The Oddfellows with the Wan Group!


  • February: Our first peroxisome paper has now been published in Traffic:
    • Castro IG, Richards DM, Metz J, Costello JL, Passmore JB, Schrader TA, Gouveia A, Ribeiro D, Schrader M: A role for MIRO1 in motility and membrane dynamics of peroxisomes. Traffic 19:229-42 (PubMed)
  • February: Congratulations to Jordan Hembrow, who has just won a BBSRC-funded PhD starting with us in September to work on "Mathematical modelling of phytopathogen-targeted secretion pathways"
  • March: Physics Theory Seminar by Rosalind Allen on modelling antibiotics on bacteria
  • March: QBME incubator in Torquay - round 5 already!
  • April: Josh Marsh and Kom Iyol complete their Master's project on "The electrotaxis of Dictyostelium discoideum"
  • April: Excellent news: BBSRC are going to fund our responsive mode proposal "Unveiling the molecular mechanisms to modulate peroxisome dynamics and abundance for improvement of cell performance" with Michael Schrader as PI!
  • April: Well done to Josiah whose poster on "Modelling Peroxisomal Dynamics in Health and Disease" won "Best in Show" at Exe-BioCon 2018
  • May: Our new Leica microscope is installed, working and ready to go!
  • May: Great to meet so many other fellows again at the MRC Fellows' Symposium!
  • September: Jordan has started his SWBio PhD, kicking off with a rotation with Mike Deeks
  • September: Talk at the John Innes Centre on "Modelling engulfment during phagocytosis"
  • October: Talk in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham on "Phagocytosis: combining modelling and experiment"
  • November: Massive congratulations to Trish, who has just secured a prestigious MRC Skills Development Fellowship!


  • May: Josiah's Histochem Cell Biol paper is out:
    • Passmore JB, Pinho S, Gomez-Lazaro M, Schrader M: The respiratory chain inhibitor rotenone affects peroxisomal dynamics via its microtubule-destabilising ability. Histochem Cell Biol 148(3):331 (PubMed)
  • June: Great Exeter showing at the yearly MRC Fellows' Symposium
  • July: LSI Opening Symposium - we're officially finally open!
  • July: Two days in Torquay at the CMBA/CPMH Incubator for seed corn round 4
  • October: Undergrad teaching for the Mathematical Modelling In Biology And Medicine (NSCM005) course
  • September: Four MPhys students start work on their project "The biophysics of phagocytosis" based in Peter Petrov's lab
  • September: Congratulations to Josiah who has successfully upgraded his Masters to a PhD based in the Schrader lab!
  • November: Welcome to Blake Cook from the University of Melbourne who has joined us to work on "The effect of electric fields on wound closure studied through electrotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum"
  • December: Phagocytosis review published: Richards DM, Endres RG:
    • Richards DM, Endres RG: How cells engulf: a review of theoretical approaches to phagocytosis. Rep Prog Phys 80:126601 (PubMed)


  • February: CBMA Public Involvement Communications Workshop
  • February: Talk at the LSI Research Symposium in Exeter ("Engulfment during phagocytosis: combining modelling and experiment")
  • March: Busy few days: visits and talks at the Universities of Liverpool and York!
  • April: "Magpies Communications Workshop" with Jo Welsman
  • May: Our article on the shape dependence of phagocytosis is published in PNAS:
    • Richards DM, Endres RG: Target shape dependence in a simple model of receptor-mediated endocytosis and phagocytosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(22):6113-8 (PubMed)
  • May: Great SHAMROK network meeting in Sheffield on "The Physics of Phagocytosis"
  • July: Thanks to all (especially Chrissie!) who helped organise our IOP workshop on "The cytoskeleton and the cell membrane in the immune system"
  • July: Conference time with Charlie Jeynes at the 16th IUBMB Conference in Vancouver!
  • September: Josiah has started his Masters' project on peroxisome dynamics
  • September: Freddy and Rudy start their CBMA PhDs on "Optimising dermatological photodynamic therapy effectiveness using a novel radiative transfer model" and "The emergence of biological phenotypes from dynamic gene networks" respectively
  • September: BioDynamics Workshop held at Exeter including a talk on our work