Who's Who in the Feng Lab

A guide to Feng Lab members past and present.

Group Leader

Xiaoqi Feng

Xiaoqi studied at the University of Oxford for her PhD and did a postdoc at the University of California, Berkley. She opened her lab at the John Innes Centre in mid-2014, and was awarded tenure in 2019. She received the prestigious David Phillips Fellowship (2014-2019) and the EMBO Young Investigator Award (2018-2022). She is grateful for funding and support from the John Innes Foundation, the BBSRC, the Gatsby Foundation and the ERC among others.

Postdocs

Shujuan Xu

Shujuan completed her PhD at Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She is trying to understand the mechanism underlying the condensation of sperm nuclei in Arabidopsis.



Yalin Liu

Yalin's PhD was about de novo centromere formation in maize. She is now working on the heat-sensitivity of the male germline, as well as Marchantia DNA methylation reprogramming.

James Walker

James recently completed his PhD in the Feng lab, notably publishing as co-first author in Nature Genetics and Science. He is interested in the evolution of DNA methylation mechanisms in land plants.

Martin Vickers

Martin is a bioinformatician, and has also been a computer scientist, sys-admin, and a geographer. His tools are instrumental to the lab's progress, and he has a forthcoming manuscript detailing new computational approaches for bisulfite sequencing.

Shaoli Zhou

Shaoli joins us from perfecting single cell Hi-C in rice and is now investigating histone modification dynamics during germline development.

Chris Morgan

Chris is an independent research fellow funded by the Discovery Fellowship. He is an expert on meiosis and super-resolution microscopy.

Chao Yang

The most recent arrival in the lab. Chao is now exploring the mechanism underlying the nurse cell-derived small RNAs in Arabidopsis.

Students

Toby Buttress

Toby has been in the lab since his undergraduate days at UEA, and is now a fourth year PhD student. He is interested in the broad-scale chromatin dynamics over reproduction, and the mechanism of sperm chromatin compaction. He is an expert on the extended Star Wars universe.



Sam Deans

A former summer student and now PhD student in the lab, Sam is working on improving how we understand large DNA methylation datasets. His Star Wars knowledge is only Padawan level.



Judit Talas

Judit started her PhD in the Feng lab in 2020 and is interested in following the intricacies of small RNA biology in the development of the germline.

Lab Alumni

  • Jincheng Long joined the Feng Lab in late 2017. He has recently published a paper in Science on paternal epigenetic inheritance. He established a new lab at Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology.
  • Shengbo He completed his PhD at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In 2019, He published a paper in eLife on H1 dynamics. He is now a Professor at South China Agricultural University.
  • Jingyi Zhang was a postdoc in the lab. He is now an Assistant Professor at South China Agricultural University.
  • Aileen Magilin was a Year in Industry student, taking a year out of her studies at Nottingham University to work in the lab, under the supervision of Toby Buttress
  • Wenjing She joined us from a postdoc in Ueli Grossniklaus' lab in Zurich, where she worked on the epigenetics of the female germline and worked on various projects in the Feng lab. Wenjing is now an editor at Genome Biology.
  • Billy Aldridge was the lab's first PhD student, completing his thesis in 2018. He developed a method for isolating tapetal cells by FACS with Jingyi Zhang. He now works in Whitehall as a civil servant.
  • Hongbo Gao was a postdoc in the lab from its early days until 2018, and developed numerous cell isolation and sequencing library preparation protocols. He published as co-first author in Nature Genetics in 2018. He is now an Associate Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Hongbo's homepage
  • Viktoria Hristova was a summer student in 2019, working under the supervision of Toby Buttress. She is now an exchange student at the University of California.
  • Dulce Hernandez was a visiting MSc student in the lab, from the lab of Dr Jean Phillipe Vielle Calzada at CINEVESTAV UGA-Langebio, Mexico
  • Quetzeley Ortiz Vasquez was a visiting PhD student in the lab, also from the lab of Dr Jean Phillipe Vielle Calzada.
  • Jiawen Chen is a Rotation PhD Student at the John Innes Centre, and undertook one of her rotations in the lab in 2019. Her thesis project is with Dr David Seung.
  • Lira Palmer is a Rotation PhD Student at the John Innes Centre/Max Plank Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, and undertook one of her rotations in the lab in 2017. Her thesis project is with Professor Sarah O'Connor.
  • Thomas Casey was a Year in Industry student in the lab, working with James Walker and Jingyi Zhang.
  • Aaron Ang was a student on the JIC International Summer School in 2017. He is now a PhD student at the John Innes Centre, in Lars Ƙstergaard's lab.
  • Aisling Cooke recently completed a Rotation PhD at the John Innes Centre, and undertook one of her rotations in the lab in 2015. Her thesis project was with Dr Myriam Charpentier.