Twelvetrees Lab

The Team


Ali Twelvetrees

In 2017 I moved to Sheffield University and the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience as a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, where I am now establishing my own independent research group. Prior to this, as a post-doc I worked on the coordination of microtubule-dependent motors during axonal transport with Prof Erika Holzbaur at the University of Pennsylvania and Prof Giampietro Schiavo at the UCL Institute of Neurology. I obtained my PhD under the supervision of Prof Josef Kittler in the department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology at University College London (UCL) whilst studying the molecular mechanisms of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABA-A receptor) transport by kinesin in neurons.

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2017 - present, Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

2011 - 2017, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Cancer Research UK London Research Institute & UCL Institute of Neurology

2010 - 2011, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Dept of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology, University College London

2005 - 2010, PhD in Molecular Neurobiology, Dept of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology, University College London

2001 - 2005, MSci Hons (1st Class) in Biochemistry, Imperial College London


Evie Smith, PhD student

In July 2018 I graduated from an integrated MChem in Chemistry with Biological and Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Sheffield. My Masters' project looked at developing a drug screening assay to find protein interaction inhibitors between amyloid-beta oligomers and cellular prion protein for the potential use in Alzheimer's disease. In October 2018 I began studying for a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Alison Twelvetrees at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience at the Univeristy of Sheffield. My PhD focuses on kinesin-1 activation in response to cargo binding. 

I grew up in Cornwall taking part in the traditional pastime of playing in a brass band. I have been lucky enough to play at the Royal Albert Hall twice; once during my time in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.


Ashleigh Davey, MBiolSci student

I came to the University of Sheffield in 2015 to study Biochemistry and Genetics in the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology department. I am currently in my fourth year of an MBiolSci integrated masters for which I decided to join the Twelvetrees lab. I enjoyed the neuroscience we'd covered in my degree and I was eager to learn more while also experiencing working in a research lab. My extended laboratory project will look use microfluidic devices to study neurodegeneration.

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A Scientist

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Alumni 2018


Dominic Bingham

I was raised in Manchester before I studied for my undergraduate BSc Biology at Sheffield Hallam University. After realising I wanted to pursue a career in academic research I switched over to the University of Sheffield to study for an MSc Translational Neuroscience. Neuroscience is something I’ve always been interested in so it was a logical next step from my bachelors. For my MSc research project I developed new methods to understand the activation of kinesin-1 in response to cargo binding.

In October 2018 Dom joined the NeuroCyto Lab in Marseille for his PhD research.


Michelle Moore

I decided to go to university as a mature student after working in the telecoms industry for 7 years and then working in care for the elderly for 2 years. Working with people who suffered from diseases associated with aging inspired me to pursue a research career studying neurodegeneration. I obtained my BSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield, where I became interested in the molecular aspects of disease and specialised in cellular and molecular biology in my third year. From there, I went on to study for an MSc in Molecular Medicine at the University of Sheffield. I wrote my MSc thesis on the role that microtubule dynamics play in neurodegenerative diseases.



Harriet Pratley

I grew up in Birmingham, then came to Sheffield for University in 2016. I am currently studying for a MBiolSci degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield. I would love to pursue a career in research, so I applied for the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience scheme in the Twelvetrees lab. As well as giving me the opportunity to study neuroscience practically, this gave me a chance to experience what a research career actually entails. I helped to build a molecular tool to visualise microtubules in neurons.

Harriet is currently in the third year of her undergraduate degree.