18th May 2022

AQLM 2022

Our very own student Mahrukh Shameem had the very exciting opportunity to attend the Analytical and Quantitative Light Microscopy Course in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Of the experience she said

"I had an abolutely amazing time attending AQLM! On day one we started by using the rail system to create our own microscope and from there we learnt about more complex advances in light microscopy. Even though at times the physics turned my brain into mush at times, I am so grateful for the amazing experience to challenge myself and learn more! I can now know what the knobs on the microscope do before I twiddle with them. I am so excited to get to my PhD and apply all I learnt! I will carry all I learnt throughout my research and my future career!"

25th April 2022

new publication!

We are so excited to announce our new publication in PLOS pathogens! Please click the link below to learn more!

18th February 2022

lab board game cafe!

We had a great time in our joint lab social event to the board game cafe! Lab members from Professor Stephen Renshaw, Dr Phil Elks and Dr Iwan Evans lab and our lab all came to enjoy a joint event! It was great seeing everyone!

1st February 2022

CONgratulations STELLA!

A huge congratulations to Dr Stella Christou on passing her viva! Both the Johnston and Ayscough lab are so proud of all the amazing things Stella has achieved!

Stella has already started her new role at the vaccine task force of UK Health Security Agency! We hope you have an amazing time there!

31st January 2022

new publication!

Congratulations to Stella on having a manuscript accepted for publication in Nature Communication; "Characterising within-hospital SARS-CoV-2 transmission events using epidemiological and viral genomic data across two pandemic waves". During her professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS), Stella worked with Dr Thushan de Silva's lab researching COVID-19. Congratulations to the entire team!

10th December 2021

CONgratulations jacob!

Congratulations to our most recent lab escapee Dr Jacob Rudman! His impact in the lab has been surprisingly large.

Jacob has already started his new role in Owlstone Medical. We wish him the best for the future and are so excited to see his career progression. We will miss you and hope you enjoy Cambridge with Jaime!

10th December 2021

lab christmas do!

We had an amazing time in our joint Christmas do with lab members from Professor Stephen Renshaw, Dr Phil Elks and Dr Iwan Evans lab!

Heres to an amazing break and we wish you all happy holidays!

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14th November 2021

peak district walk

We had an amazing joint lab walk with lab members from Professor Stephen Renshaw, Dr Phil Elks and Dr Rhoda Hawkins lab!

On a surprisingly beautiful November day, we all had a great hike up to Bamford edge! Hopefully we have more walks and hikes in the near future!

11th November 2021

Congratulations JAIME!

A massive congratulations to Dr Jaime Cañedo for passing his viva! The entire Johnston Lab is so proud of Jaime and his achievements.

Jaime will be starting his new role as a Post doc in St Johnston lab at The University of Cambridge Gurdon Institute. We wish him the best for the future and are so excited to see his career progression. We will miss you and hope you enjoy Cambridge!

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29th August 2021

Congratulations on your new job JACOB!

We are so proud of Jacob for starting his new role with Owlstone Medical in Cambridge! He will be leaving us to pursue his new research career in diagnostics. We are beyond excited for him and his new role! Congratulations Jacob!

28th June 2021

new vibratome!

Firstly, we would like to thank Professor Marysia Placzek for letting our lab use her vibratome for the past few years. Alas, all good things must come to an end and the machine stopped working earlier this year.

Thanks to the generosity of the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular disease, our Phd student Mahrukh was able to apply for a grant to secure funds for a new machine! We would like to thank the department for their help and are excited to use the vibratome in our research!

8th June 2021


After a year of online meetings and lab catch-ups, the Johnston Lab was able to meet up for a socially distanced lab catch up! However, it wasn't just them! We were joined by Chris's son Rowan and Simon's dog Autumn! We look forward to more in person socially distanced meetings in the future!

30th March 2021

A WARM welcome to our master's students!

We want to say a big welcome to our new Master's students Rebecca, Mabel and Matthew! They will all be joining us for a short research project looking at host pathogen interactions! To learn more about their projects, click here! We hope they enjoy their time in our lab!

25th March 2021

Mahrukh joins the national vaccination efforts!

Our very own PhD student, Mahrukh has joined the St John's Ambulance vaccination volunteering team as a patient carer and vaccination advocate! She is part of the huge team at St John's who are working with volunteers within the NHS in the national programme. Her roles include: providing information about the vaccines, answering questions, ensuring that patients are aware of the process and patient care after vaccination. She has also been trained as a vaccinator too.

From her experience so far, Mahrukh has said "I am so excited to be joining the St John's Ambulance team! Everyone has been so welcoming and kind and there is a real sense of community here. We are all working so hard to make sure that every patient has a really positive experience here. We hope that everyone who comes here, feels well informed and well taken care of. This national programme is a massive undertaking and it feels great to be part of such an amazing cause. I am grateful to be able help with the solution. Thank you St John's Ambulance for this opportunity!"

Thank you Mahrukh for your great work. We are all so proud of you!

25th March 2021

CHRIS joins fight against COVID-19 at Lighthouse Lab

Chris joined the Lighthouse Labs COVID testing labs to help in the fight against COVID-19. The labs were set up by the government to provide nationwide testing at multiple sites across the country.

Thank you Chris for all your hard work!

5th March 2021

how to be an ally by dimen diversity

DiMeN Diversity has launched their new seminar series! It kicked off with a seminar with Dr Jessica Wade from Imperial College London about how to be an ally. Dr Jessica Wade gave tips on how we can be better allies such as speaking up more against injustices, recognising our own privileges and listening to others even when things get uncomfortable.

Our very own Mahrukh is the team lead of the group and helped organise the event! They will be hosting a new seminar based around equality, diversity and inclusion! Follow them on twitter for upcoming seminars and more information!

3rd December 2020

stella joins fight against COVID-19

The Johnston Labs PhD student Stella, has recently joined Dr Thushan de Silva’s lab in IICD at the University of Sheffield to help in the fight against COVID-19. The lab is part of the COG-UK consortium and sequences COVID-19 from different patients and medical stuff samples.

Stella is really enjoying her time in the labs stating "The process of sequencing is really fun and there is a national attempt to collect as much information from COVID-19 positive patients as possible to hopefully understand the pathogen."

Stella will be back to our lab soon as the position is temporary and part of the BBSRC DTP White Rose program for Professional Internships for PhD students known as PIPs. We are all very proud of her! Congratulations Stella and thank you for all your hard work in these very tough times.

12th November 2020

new publication!

Jaime and Simon's collaboration with a leading research group on pulmonary hypertension in the Medical School has led to a new publication. They found that pulmonary arterial hypertension could be linked to imbalances in the population of polarised macrophages. This was revealed by biochemical and morphological examination of different types of macrophages in both in vivo and in vitro settings.

To find out more about this work, please click on the following link:

11 November 2020

COngratulations james!

Our resident physicist, Dr James Bradford, had successfully defended his thesis on modelling actin polymerisation and phagocytosis. Such a remarkable feat to figure out some of actin's secrets! We're looking forward for a proper celebration when everything is back to normal.

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5th October 2020


After the delays due to COVID, we can now say that we are planning the big move to our new lab!

We will be sharing with The Elks lab! It will have dedicated spaces to the microscopy equipment, an infection room and a huge office space. It also has wonderful views over Firth Court. We are excited to move in!

We also had our first socially distanced lab meeting since the start of the pandemic! Its been a while since everyone in the lab had seen each other, but we all enjoyed a nice chilly day at Western Park catching up!

Hopefully we will be able to have meetings in the new lab soon!

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