Mancini Lab

People & contacts

Current Lab

Erika Mancinipicture of Erika Mancini
Reader in Biomedical Structural Biology


I started my scientific career in Italy with a Degree in Physics and I carried out my doctoral research in Cryo-Electron Microscopy at the European Molecular Biology Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. I took a PhD in Crystallography from Birkbeck College following which I held an EMBO postdoctoral fellow at Oxford University. Whilst in Oxford I was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship that allowed me to start my own independent group. During the time in Oxford I was awarded an MRC New Investigator award and I became Hugh Price Fellow in Medicine at Jesus College as well as an Associate Professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine.  In 2015 I joined the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex as a Reader in Biomedical Structural Biology

Alessandro Agnarelli
PhD studentAlessandro Picture


My work focuses on protein protein interactions involved in multiple myeloma, an aggressive and incurable cancer of plasma cells. Using a range of biochemical and biophysical techniques (including ChIP-Sequencing, X-ray cristallography), my aim is to target the aberrant transcriptional network to subvert multiple myeloma.

Outside the lab, I like to go out with my friends, play volleyball, football, basketball, watch science fiction and horror movies.

Muzaffar Alimuzaffarali
Marie Sklodowska Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow


I am a MSCA postdoctoral research fellow (SFSASP project number 660349) . My work focuses on understanding the structure-function relation of chromatin associated proteins. I am particularly interested in SWI/SNF2 type ATPase proteins that are known as chromatin remodellers. Using X-ray crystallography and other biophysical methods, my aim is to understand the molecular mechanism of how these proteins work and interact with other partner proteins to bring about a certain effector function. I am also looking into how post-translational modifications regulate these protein-protein interactions.

At times when I am not in lab, I like to go out to Brighton beach (on sunny days !), play badminton, squash, football, cricket, chess, watch movies. Partying and going out are yet other favourite pastimes.

Tatiana Bruxelles
PhD studentTatiana picture


I am a Sussex Life Science/Diamond Light Source PhD student, jointly supervised by Dr Mancini and Dr Fleig (Diamond Light Source, IO4). My PhD work focuses on the characterization of Chromatin Remodelling ATPases by integrative structural biology techniques including CryoEM, SAXS and X-ray crystallography. My work will try and uncover mechanism by which chromatin remodelling ATPases work to unravel nucleosomes but I will also investigate their role in DNA damage repair and cancer.

If I am not in the lab, I am probably playing ukulele, shopping, watching Sci-fi TV shows or reading my favourite books for the umpteenth time.

Jacob Evansjacob evans
PhD student


Leanne HarrisLeanne Harris
Postdoctoral Research Assistant


My work focuses on protein-protein interactions for drug discovery – understanding how protein interactions can drive disease and how we can target these interactions to develop novel treatments. In Erika’s lab, I work on a protein-protein interaction which has been implicated in T-cell leukaemia. Using a range of biochemical and biophysical techniques (including HTRF, MST, NMR and X-ray crystallography), my aim is to identify novel small molecule inhibitors of the protein-protein interaction, investigate the binding of these inhibitors to the proteins and understand how they function.

Outside of the lab, I play the trumpet and spend my free time playing board games, baking and walking on the South Downs.


Rajesh Ponusammy
Postdoctoral Research Assistant


My research interest has been to understand and rationalize how a small set of viral proteins are able to hijack the complex host mechanisms for their survival. I have obtained rigorous experience in structural biology from gene-to-structure including complementary techniques for obtaining information on protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions such as SPR, ITC and BioSAXS. Here at the University of Sussex, I’m part of Prof. Michelle West and Dr. Erika Manicini Labs and interested in identifying the molecular details of EBV latent proteins EBNA2 and EBNA3C and their interaction with the cellular proteins.
Apart from having fun in the lab, I enjoy playing any kind of sports, at present playing lots of tennis (if weather permits ;) ) and at times squash.




Aaron Alt - Post Doctoral Research Assistant (now PRA, Gene Centre, LMU, Munich)

Antonio Biasutto - DPhil student (now PRA, Department of Biochemistry, Oxford)

Stephanie Board - MSc student (now research Assistant, King's College London)

Daryl Ronato - MSc student ( now PhD Student at Universite Laval Quebec, Canada)

Dimple Karia- Dphil student (now PRA, Division of Structural Biology, Oxford)

David Aparicio - PostDoctoral Research Assistant (now PRA, CISC Barcellona)

Maria Carrasquero - Research Assistant (now RA, Department of Biochemistry, Oxford)

Mika Abu - PostDoctoral Research Assistant

Olga Platonova - PostDoctoral Research Assistant (now PRA, Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine, Oxford)

Philip West - Dphil student (now Senior Analyst, Google)

Kamel El Omari - PostDoctoral Research Assistant (now Beamline Scientist I23,DIAMOND Light Source)

Rosa Morra - PostDoctoral Research Assistant (now PRA, Manchester University)

Abhay Kotecha - Wellcome Trust funded DPhil student (now PRA, Division of Structural Biology, Oxford)

Miss Renata Fleith - NDM funded summer student (now PhD student, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brasil)

Ashley Horsley - Royal Society funded summer student.

Ben Lee - DPhil student (now Research Associate UCL GOS Institute of Child Health)

Helen Spiers - Wellcome Trust funded summer student (now PhD student at the Psychology and Neuroscience’s MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London)

Christopher Anderton - Biochemistry Part II student.

Nicola Lewis - NDM funded summer student.

Lorraine Alchin - Wellcome Trust funded rotation student.

Erman Karasu - Royal Society funded summer student (now PhD student, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, USA)

Helen Ginn - Wellcome Trust funded summer student (now PhD student, STRUBI, Oxford)

Agnes Forsthuber - Royal Society funded summer student (now PhD, Medical University Vienna, Austria)

Rostislav Veselinov - Master Thesis student from the University of Duisberg-Essen, Germany (now PhD student University of Heidelberg, Germany)

Erika Yih - Princeton University Erasmus exchange student.

Felipe Ossa - Biochemistry Part II student.

Narin Hengrung - Wellcome Trust funded DPhil rotation student.

Louise Walport - BBSRC funded DPhil rotation student.