The LaNts and Laminins team

Kevin Hamill

Kevin Hamill

Senior Lecturer

Kevin did a BSc in Biochemistry and PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Dundee. He then moved to Chicago for postdoctoral training at Northwestern University, becoming Research Assistant Professor from 2011. The Hamill lab was established at the University of Liverpool in 2013 and has since attracted support from BBSRC, Innovate UK, Fight for Sight, Northwest Cancer Research, British Dermatology Foundation, Crossley Barnes Foundation. This funding has allowed research into LaNts, laminins and more generally into cell-matrix interaction in the eye, skin, and various cancer situations. Work in the lab is also underway to develop molecular therapeutics for glaucoma and for the inherited eye disorder anirida, and into drug delivery across the skin/cornea.

See Kevin’s publications on PubMed

Liam Shaw

PhD Student

Liam did his BSc in Biochemistry and Masters in Biological Sciences at the University of Liverpool. During his Masters, Liam developed a love of laminins and stayed on with the Hamill lab to pursue his PhD. Liam’s doctoral studies involve using CRISPR-mediated genome editing to investigate the functional implications of disruptions to laminin networks assembly. He is funded by a BBSRC doctorial training partnership award and is supervised by Dr Hamill, Professor Rachel Williams at the University of Liverpool and Professor Roy Quinlan at the University of Durham.

Read about some of Liam’s recent work (lay friendly)

Conor Sugden

PhD student

Conor did his BSc (Hons) Biochemistry at Liverpool John Moores University, completing a 1-year Erasmus+ placement at the University of Navarra, Spain as part of his degree. He then completed his MRes Clinical Sciences at the University of Liverpool, before going on to undertake a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology in the Hamill Lab. Conor’s PhD has focused on investigating the role of LaNt α31 on tissue homeostasis and development in vivo, using transgenic mice and 3D organotypic models to accomplish this. He is funded by the Crossley Barnes Foundation, and is a recipient of a DAAD short-term research scholarship.

Read about Conor’s recent work (preprint)

Read about Conor’s DAAD-sponsored work in Freiburg

John Knox

PhD student

John did his BSc and MSc in Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool. His PhD studies are supported by Fight For Sight. He is investigating the role of connective tissue growth factor in the progression of glaucoma and is developing molecular therapeutics to target this protein. He is supervised by Dr Hamill and Professor Colin Willoughby at the University of Ulster.

Read some of my thoughts on PhD student life

Josh Turner

KTP associate

Josh completed his PhD in Inkjet Printing of TiO2, under the tutelage of Prof Helen C. Aspinall and Dr Kate Black, after graduating his MCHEM course at the University of Liverpool. Josh is currently an Innovate UK funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate working on a project with the University of Liverpool and PZ Cussons to develop an ex vivo skin model for self-tanning products. The overall project aim is to direct a new and exciting product innovation to add to PZ Cussons’ St Tropez brand by improving the performance of sunless tanning products, with an emphasis on the use and analysis of penetration enhancer systems.  This work is being performed at the University of Liverpool Department of Chemistry and Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease supervised by Dr Kevin Hamill and Dr Tom McDonald.

Fawziah Asiri

PhD Student

Fawziah did her BSc degree in General Biology at King Khalid University (KKU), Saudi Arabia, Abha. She also obtained her MRes degree from KKU. During her MRes study, she investigated the relationship between tissue damage resulting from diabetes and the levels of tumour-related antigens in the liver. After that, she worked as a research assistant at Research Centre for Advanced Material Science at KKU, then as a lecturer in the Department of Biology at Bisha University. She has subsequently been awarded a full scholarship from the Government of Saudi Arabia to complete her PhD programme at University of Liverpool. Now, Fawziah is working as a PhD student in the Hamill lab, and her project focuses on the role of LaNtα31 in breast cancer.

Danielle O’Loughlin

Research Assistant

Danielle did her MEng Bioengineering at the University of Sheffield, specialising in biomaterials science and tissue engineering. She then joined The University of Liverpool to undertake a PhD in tissue engineering of the corneal stroma, which focused on using primary cells to develop an in vitro model of the corneal stroma. Danielle has now joined the Hamill lab as a research assistant where her work focuses on the histological analysis of sunless tanners applied to ex vivo skin models.

She is also involved in a project using next generation sequencing of messenger RNAs to identify changes in splicing and alternate polyadenylation in head and neck cancers. This will improve the understanding of the changes that occur in these cancers that enables them to invade and metastasise throughout the body.  This is especially important here in Liverpool and the Northwest, as head and neck cancers are prevalent.

Natasha Chavda

PhD student

Natasha did a MSci in Natural Sciences at University College London, then worked as a research assistant at the Francis Crick Institute London and then at the University of Birmingham. She joined the Hamill lab as BBSRC Doctoral Training partnership PhD student jointly supervised by Dr Hamill, Dr Hannah Levis and Prof Colin Jahoda at the University of Durham. Her project involves advanced imaging approaches to study the structure and function of limbal and skin stem cell niches.

Bilge Sari

PhD Student

Bilge complete Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Masters degree from Ataturk University. Then worked as as lecturer in the same department and gained an international scholarship to pursue a Masters and PhD in the UK in the field of Molecular Oncology. I completed my MRes at the University of Sheffield in 2020 and have joined the Hamill lab for my PhD studying breast cancer invasion and metastasis.


Zoom call distractor and accidental document editor

Io studied feline behaviour in Chicago then took a Cat-a-pult scholarship to join the Hamill lab in Liverpool. She currently is performing a series of behavioural studies on the effect of purring on food distribution and timing, with a secondary project analysing the relationships between sun intensity and sleep.



Enkidu came through the ranks at Liverpool and has now established himself as a core member of the LaNts and laminin team. He provides strategic and technical assistance on all projects involving cold storage device operation and enzymatic conversion of dairy products, while also taking a strong interest in avian matters and large object trans-doorway delivery.


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