Helen Taylor

Helen TProfile Pic Micklefieldaylor (1st BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, University of Liverpool, BBSRC GSK funded PhD) “New Synthetic Biology Tools for Controlling Gene Expression”


Helen Taylor was awarded her first class honours degree in Biochemistry from the University of Liverpool in 2016. She spent her final year project studying the protein composition of snake venom from Daboia siamensis and Echis ocellatus, particularly the phospholipase A2 component and its toxic role in envenomation. During her final year project she not only gained an appreciation of pathology-producing interactions between molecules and cells, but also gained expertise in gel-filtration, reverse phase and affinity chromatography, SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry. During her project she worked alongside Dr Mark Wilkinson, a senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool with a keen interest in micro-scale protein isolation and analysis.

In addition to her final year project, during her second year she applied for and completed a 10-week summer research project funded by BBSRC, supervised by Dr Daniel Rigden. This involved the use of cutting-edge contact-based modelling methods to provide structure-based function annotation of domains of unknown function. During the 10 weeks she displayed a clear ability to pick up new techniques when placed in a specialised research environment, in this case she adapted to a completely different computer operating system and bioinformatics programs that she had previously not been exposed to. Through this experience, and a week spent with PhD students in a vascular signalling research group, she received considerable insight into what being part of a research team involves – confirming her desire to pursue a PhD and making her even more motivated to commit to a research career. Through her 10 week bioinformatics project, she was able to contribute to a paper published later in 2016 in Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics.

Helen has experience in molecular biology, protein expression and purification, enzyme kinetics, Bioinformatics and analytical techniques (including SDS-PAGE, HPLC and mass spectrometry).

Outside of her PhD, Helen is a keen reader, painter and enjoys various sports including rock climbing, bouldering, squash, badminton and cardio.