4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018

Genome Stability

We investigate the responses of cells to genome damage and their relationship to cancer and other aspects of human disease.

You’ll work in a dynamic and collaborative environment, using a range of instrumentation from microscopy to DNA sequencing to mass spectronomy.

Our research is currently funded by a variety of agencies including:

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Medical Research Council
  • The Wellcome Trust.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to work on your research full time or part time. For details about part-time study, contact us at

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.

  • An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
  • A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.

How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex


Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.

  • Biochemistry and Biomedicine faculty

    Prof Bugewa Apampa
    Professor of Pharmacy Education

    Research interests: Dementia, Education, Pharmaceutical care, Pharmacy

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    Dr John Armstrong
    Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry

    Research interests: Genetic manipulation

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    Mr Kevin Clark
    Teaching Fellow

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    Dr Neil Crickmore
    Senior Lecturer in Molecular Genetics

    Research interests: Bioinformatics, Biological control, Insecticides

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    Dr Taravat Ghafourian
    Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics & DrugDelivery

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    Dr Georgios Giamas
    Reader in Cell Signalling

    Research interests: Cancer (Human disease), Cancer cell biology, Cell signalling, Drug resistance, Estrogen Receptor, LMTK3, molecular biology, Phosphorylation, Protein kinase, Proteomics, SILAC, Transcription, Xenograft models

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    Dr Geeta Hitch
    Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice

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    Dr Erika Mancini

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    Dr Sabita Menon
    Teaching Fellow

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    Prof Anthony Moore
    Professor of Biochemistry

    Research interests: Plant physiology

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    Prof Simon Morley
    Professor of Signal Transduction

    Research interests: Pathology

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    Dr Mark Paget
    Reader in Molecular Genetics

    Research interests: Antibiotic resistance, Antibiotics, Biofuels, Gene expression, Metabolic engineering, Microbiology, Renewables, Streptomyces, Transcription

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    Dr Prabha Parthasarathy
    Teaching Fellow in Microbiology

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    Dr Frances Pearl
    Bioinformatics Academic Research Manager

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    Mr Michael Pettit
    Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice

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    Dr Roger Phillips
    Fluorescence Microscopy Academic Research Manager

    Research interests: Animal developmental biology, Cell biology, Cell signalling, Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), Fluorescence markers, Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP), Fluorescence-based analytical techniques, Gene action and regulation, Genetics and development, Immunofluorescence, Innate immunity, Insects, Microscopy - Optical, Neurodevelopment, Optics - Imaging, Photonics

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    Dr Chrisostomos Prodromou
    Senior Research Fellow

    Research interests: 3D Structure, Chlamydomonas, Drug discovery, Dynein, Hsp90, molecular biology, Molecular chaperones, Protein expression

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    Dr Mark Roe
    X-Ray Crystallography Collaborative Research Facility Manager

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    Prof Louise Serpell
    Professor of Biochemistry

    Research interests: Alzheimer's Disease, Biomedical neuroscience, Cell biology, Dementia, Drug discovery, Neurodegeneration, Neurodegenerative disease, Protein misfolding, Structural biology, Synthetic biology

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    Prof Alison Sinclair
    Professor of Molecular Virology

    Research interests: Burkitt lymphoma, Cancer (Human disease), Cancer cell biology, Cell biology, Cell cultures, Chromatin, DNA binding proteins, Expression systems, Gene expression, Gene silencing, Genomics, Microbiology, Molecular virology, mRNA, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, next-generation sequencing, Oncogenes, Protein complexes, Transcription, Transcription factors, Transcriptional regulation, Virology, virus, virus replication

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    Dr Lorraine Smith
    Teaching Fellow

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    Prof Michael Titheradge
    Professor of Biomedical Sciene

    Research interests: Appetite, Flavour, Learning

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    Prof Michelle West
    Professor of Tumour Virology

    Research interests: B cells, Cancer cell biology, Cell cycle, Chromatin, Epigenetics, Transcriptional regulation, Translational regulation, Virology

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  • Genome Damage and Stability faculty

    Dr Jon Baxter
    Research Fellow

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    Dr Alessandro Bianchi
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: DNA replication, Telomerase, Telomeres

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    Prof Keith Caldecott
    Professor of Biochemistry 'Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder'

    Research interests: Ageing, Drug discovery, Mitosis, Neurodegeneration, Proteomics

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    Prof Antony Carr

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    Prof Aidan Doherty
    Professor of Biochemistry

    Research interests: Cells, Crystallography, DNA, Mitochondria, Molecular chaperones, Pathogens, Polymerase, Structural biology

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    Prof Jessica Downs
    Visiting Research Fellow

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    Dr Helfrid Hochegger

    Research interests: Cancer cell biology, Cell biology, Cell cycle, Cell division, Drug discovery, Kinases, Mathematical modelling, Mitosis, Proteomics

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    Dr Eva Hoffmann
    Senior Research Fellow

    Research interests: age-related infertility, budding yeast, Chromosome pairing, Chromosomes, Cytogenetics, Genetic mapping/ markers, Genetic variation, human oocytes, infertility, Meiosis, mismatch repair, synaptonemal complex

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    Dr Penny Jeggo
    Professorial Fellow

    Research interests: Mitosis, Proteomics, Radiation

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    Prof Alan Lehmann
    Research Professor, Molecular Genetics

    Research interests: DNA damage and repair, human genetic disorders, Replication of damaged DNA

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    Dr Jo Murray

    Research interests: Cell cycle, Chromosomes, DNA damage and repair, DNA replication, Genome rearrangements, Homologous recombination, Replication of damaged DNA

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    Dr Matt Neale

    Research interests: Chromosome structure, Chromosomes, Meiosis, Recombination

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    Prof Mark O'Driscoll
    Professor Of Human Molecular Genetics

    Research interests: Cancer (Human disease), Cancer cell biology, Cell biology, Cell cycle, Cell Differentiation (disease), Cell division, Cell signalling, Chemotherapeutics, Dev. Origins of adult disease, DNA damage and repair, DNA double-strand breaks, DNA replication, Genetics and development, Genotype to Phenotype, Medical science and disease, Metabolic syndrome, Nervous system, Neurodegenerative disease, Neurodevelopmental Syndromes, Neuroscience (Human disease), Paediatrics (Human disease), Pathogenesis, Pathology, Replication of damaged DNA, Signal transduction, Tissue differentiation and programming

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    Dr Antony Oliver
    Senior Research Fellow

    Research interests: Biomolecules and biochemistry, Biophysics, DNA Binding and interactions, DNA binding proteins, DNA damage and repair, DNA double-strand breaks, Drug development, Drug discovery, Kinases, Protein-DNA interactions, Replication of damaged DNA, Structural biology

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    Prof Laurence Pearl
    Professor of Structural Biology

    Research interests: Chromatin, Crystallography, Drug development, Drug discovery, Medicinal Chemistry, Molecular chaperones, Neurodegeneration, Protein structure, Proteomics, Structural biology

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    Dr Steve Sweet
    Senior Research Fellow

    Research interests: Bioinformatic tools for proteomics, Chromatin, DNA damage and repair, DNA double-strand breaks, Epigenetics, Histones, Mass Spectrometry, Protein identification, Protein-protein interactions, Proteomics, Transcription

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    Dr Felicity Watts
    Reader in Biochemistry

    Research interests: 53BP1, DNA repair, DNA replication, fission yeast, PCNA, Recombination, S. pombe, SUMO, Ubiquitin

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Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a relevant science subject.

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more about ATAS.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Scholarships and fees

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters Loan

MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students

Home: £4,195 per year

EU: £4,195 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year

Overseas: £18,750 per year

Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.

Contact us