Dr Anastasia Callaghan
Senior Fellow in Structural Molecular Biology
University of Portsmouth,
School of Biological Sciences
King Henry Building
King Henry I Street
Portsmouth. PO1 2DY
Anastasia completed a BSc(Hons) in Biology with Chemistry at the University of Southampton before going on to complete a PhD with Prof. Sir Howard Dalton FRS at the University of Warwick. This work focussed on the biochemical and structural characterisation of bacterial protein complexes.
Anastasia then moved to the University of Cambridge to take up a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral position with Prof. Ben Luisi where she worked on the structural and functional characterisation of proteins involved in RNA processing and degradation. During her time at Cambridge she was elected to Senior Membership of Wolfson College and taught biochemistry to medical and veterinary students at Queen’s College.
Anastasia subsequently joined Pfizer Global Research & Development as a Principal Scientist (Biophysics) within the Discovery Department’s Structural Biology Group. Contributing to multiple therapeutic areas, she led a focussed team in conducting fundamental research in early stage drug discovery. This work gave her an invaluable insight into the applicability of academic research to pharmaceutical development.
Anastasia subsequently joined the University of Portsmouth, taking up a tenured Senior Fellowship in Structural Molecular Biology. This is primarily a research position but Anastasia also supports the teaching within the Department as well as holding a number of additional Departmental, Faculty and University responsibilities.
Anastasia has an active research group focusing on the study of RNA biology, with interests in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Specific research interests include:
- Studying the interplay of non-coding RNAs, an RNA chaperone protein and ribonucleases in the control of gene expression; a novel mechanism linked to pathogenic bacterial virulence.
- Exploring a communicative link between the enzymatic machinery of RNA degradation and a key metabolite of central metabolism.
- Identifying chemical inhibitors of antibacterial targets and understanding there mechanism of action.
- Interests in the development of novel technologies for the study of RNA-interactions.
For more information please see: PTGR_Lab homepage
Sept 2011 Strategic Research and BMS Fund, University of Portsmouth- £11,000
Novel technology applications within the structural biology field.
April 2011 BBSRC Follow on Fund - £150,000
The development of a novel technology.
June 2010 BBSRC Pathfinder - £8,000
Innovative tagging method for surface-based studies.
April 2010 Higher Education Innovation Fund - £17,000
The development of an innovative tagging method for an important family of biological molecules.
Sept 2009 Royal Society Research Grant - £15,000
An in vivo investigation into the potential interplay between the enzymatic machinery of RNA degradation and a key metabolite of central metabolism.
June 2009 Nuffield Foundation Science Bursary - £1,440
A fundamental investigation of RNase E-RNA substrate and inhibitor recognition.
Jan 2008 BBSRC New Investigator Award, £337,000
The interplay of sRNAs, Hfq and RNase E in the control of gene expression; a novel mechanism linked to pathogenic bacterial virulence.
April 2007 Royal Society Research Grant, £15,000
Understanding the mechanism of RNA binding and cleavage by RNase E.
Jan 2007 Biochemical Society ‘Guildford Bench Methodology Fund’ Grant, £1,000
Feasibility Studies: Application of SPR-based method to study RNase E-substrate interactions.
Non-Research Roles and Responsibilities
Personal Tutor to undergraduate students
1st and 2nd Years - Study Support Skills Unit including Maths Workshop Demonstrator
1st Year – Experimental Biology Unit - Practical Class Demonstrator
3rd Year Project Supervisor
Lecturer on Postgraduate Units
PhD student supervisor
Chemical Safety Coordinator
IT and Website Coordinator
Biology Club Organiser – arrange departmental seminars throughout the year
Preview and Open Day Organiser – arrange departmental visit days for A-Level students considering studying Biology at undergraduate level
Representative on the Information Services Academic User Group Committee
Research Staff Representative – organise Research Staff Forum events and participate in the University’s Research & Knowledge Transfer Committee.
Reviewer for the Nuffield Foundation's Undergraduate Research Bursary scheme
Reviewer for BBSRC and Welcome Trust grants
April 2011 Departmental Seminar Speaker, Bath University
April 2011 ` Mini-symposium on sRNA-mediated RNA-decay mechanisms,Cambridge
March 2011 Research with Impact Event,PortsmouthUniversity
Jan 2009 Departmental Seminar Speaker, Portsmouth School of Health Sciences
July 2007 Royal Society of Chemistry, Nucleic Acid Meeting, Reading University
April 2007 Nucleic Acid Conference (NACON),SheffieldUniversity
April 2006 South West Structural Biology Consortium Meeting,BathUniversity
Pfizer Impact Award for excellence in project work
Award for research at the ‘Science, Engineering and Technology forBritain’ event at the House of Commons
Society for General Microbiology
Publications before 2008
Callaghan AJ and Luisi BF (2006) Around the ring in eighty days: an exploration of the RNA degradosome via many SRS ports. Article in SRD Annual Report 2005-2006 pg10-11
Callaghan AJ, Marcaida MJ, Stead JA, McDowall KJ, Scott WG, Luisi BF. (2005) Structure of Escherichia coli RNase E catalytic domain and implications for RNA turnover. Nature 437, 1187-91.
Callaghan AJ, Redko Y, Murphy LM, Grossmann JG, Yates D, Garman E, Ilag LL, Robinson CV, Symmons MF, McDowall KJ, Luisi BF. (2005) "Zn-link": a metal-sharing interface that organizes the quaternary structure and catalytic site of the endoribonuclease, RNase E. Biochemistry 44, 4667-75.
Callaghan AJ, Aurikko JP, Ilag LL, Gunter Grossmann J, Chandran V, Kuhnel K, Poljak L, Carpousis AJ, Robinson CV, Symmons MF, Luisi BF. (2004) Studies of the RNA degradosome-organizing domain of the Escherichia coli ribonuclease RNase E. J Mol Biol. 340, 965-79.
Callaghan AJ, Grossmann JG, Redko YU, Ilag LL, Moncrieffe MC, Symmons MF, Robinson CV, McDowall KJ, Luisi BF. (2003) Quaternary structure and catalytic activity of the Escherichia coli ribonuclease E amino-terminal catalytic domain. Biochemistry 42, 13848-55.
Callaghan AJ, Smith TJ, Slade SE, Dalton H. (2002) Residues near the N-terminus of protein B control autocatalytic proteolysis and the activity of soluble methane mono-oxygenase. Eur J Biochem. 269, 1835-43.
GallagherSC, Callaghan AJ, Zhao J, Dalton H, Trewhella J. (1999) Global conformational changes control the reactivity of methane monooxygenase. Biochemistry 38, 6752-60.