Molecular Biology and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease


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Professor Luminita Paraoan, MSc (Biochem), PhD

Group leader Ocular Molecular biology and Mechanisms of Disease

  • Graduated from University of Bucharest (Biochemistry) in 1990; PhD in Genetics and Microbiology from The Romanian Academy of Sciences in 1996 and a further PhD in Biochemistry from The University of Liverpool in 1998.
  • Fulbright research Scholar at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, 1992-1993 Wellcome Trust Prize studentship in The Department of Biochemistry, University of Liverpool, UK.
  • Wellcome Trust Prize Fellow at The University of Liverpool, UK, 1998-2000
  • Appointed Lecturer in 2003 in the Department of Medicine, Senior Lecturer in 2006 in the School of Clinical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Reader in the Department of Eye and Vision Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool.
  • Since 2016 Luminita is Professor of Ocular Molecular and Cellular Biology in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool.


 Umar Sharif


Dr Umar Sharif (Post-doctoral researcher)

Role of proteolysis in retinal pigmented epithelium in normal physiology and diseases. Study of proteolytic events that involve a network of proteases that mediate human retinal pigmented epithelial cell physiology and its interaction with its surrounding environment including photoreceptors and choroidal blood supply.


Dr Emil Carlsson (Post-doctoral researcher)

Graduated from KTH Royal Institute of Technology (MSc in Biotechnology Engineering) in 2008. PhD in Molecular Biosciences from Imperial College London and the National University of Singapore (joint degree) in 2016. Current project involves gene editing of risk factor for age-related macular degeneration to study the effect of modulation of proteolytic control in retinal pigment epithelial cells. 



Samantha McDonnell (PhD student)

Finished a MBiolSci in Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool in June 2014. Currently studying specific protein-protein interactions involved in cellular apoptosis, with particular interest in the p53-PERP-mediated pathway.



Nur Musfirah Mahmud (PhD student)

Graduated with Bsc (Hons.) in Biomolecular Science from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Malaysia in 2013. Currently working on "Investigation of the effects of ageing and oxidative stress response in retinal cells", in collaboration with University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.



Wasu Supharattanasitthi (PhD student)

MGraduated with BSc in Pharmacy from Mahidol University in 2013. My current research interest relates to the effects of ageing in retinal pigment epithelial cells.



Neil Saptarshi (PhD Student)

Investigating Epigenetic Changes in Age-related Macular Degeneration: From Differentially Methylated Locus to Functional Consequence

My work in Professor Paraon’s group focuses on identifying, validating and initiating mechanistic studies of differentially methylated genes in RPE/Choroid-derived gDNA from dry-AMD patients. Validated and biologically relevant genes will be thoroughly tested and their contribution to disease pathogenesis determined



Haydn Lawson (Honours Student)

The retinal pigment epithelium and the effects of reactive oxygen species and advanced glycation end-products in relation to ageing.



Lewis Muir (MPhil student)

Ageing biology of vision

Chawanphat Muangnoi (Visiting PhD student, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)

Characterization of antioxidant properties of novel prodrugs in retinal pigmented epithelium 


Dewi Romdhoniyyah (PhD Student)

Age-related changes and oxidative stress response in retinal pigment epithelium: consequences for AMD development


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