Dr Lia Chappell | Postdoctoral Fellow

Chappell, Lia

I'm a molecular biologist who loves to tackle a tricky problem- over the last few years much of my work has been focused on getting RNA-seq to work well in highly AT-rich malaria parasites.

I've just joined Thierry Voet's group to work on new sequencing methods that will be applied to single cells, and will be in the lab soon hacking at new molecular biology protocols.

Until recently I was working on analysing PCR-free RNA-seq data sets for several species of malaria parasites, including Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium knowlesi. We're hoping analysis of these data sets will be useful for many researchers in the malaria community, as they include features that were previously undetected due to the high AT-content of the parasite genomes.

Prior to that I spent just over a year in the R&D team in the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where I worked on developing molecular biology protocols that use high throughput DNA sequencing platforms. Highlights of this year included a project to implement higher throughput and lower cost RNA-seq, and the implementation of the PCR-free RNA-seq protocol ("DAFT-seq") I developed in my PhD within our DNA pipelines.

In my PhD project I worked on methods to study gene expression in malaria parasites using high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies (RNA-seq). I was jointly supervised by Matt Berriman and Julian Rayner, and interacted with researchers in the Parasite Genomics team and Malaria Programme at the Institute. I developed a PCR-free RNA-seq protocol ("DAFT-seq") to handle the RNA from AT-rich malaria parasite transcriptomes.

In my spare time I'm activity involved with science outreach in Cambridge, and in 2009-11 I was the student president of Cambridge Hands-On Science (CHaOS). Now I'm trying a range of other outreach activities, including communicating science by the medium of stand-up comedy!

Publications

  • The nucleosome landscape of Plasmodium falciparum reveals chromatin architecture and dynamics of regulatory sequences.

    Kensche PR, Hoeijmakers WA, Toenhake CG, Bras M, Chappell L et al.

    Nucleic acids research 2016;44;5;2110-24

  • Vector transmission regulates immune control of Plasmodium virulence.

    Spence PJ, Jarra W, Lévy P, Reid AJ, Chappell L et al.

    Nature 2013;498;7453;228-31

  • Phosphoinositide metabolism links cGMP-dependent protein kinase G to essential Ca²⁺ signals at key decision points in the life cycle of malaria parasites.

    Brochet M, Collins MO, Smith TK, Thompson E, Sebastian S et al.

    PLoS biology 2014;12;3;e1001806

  • Found in translation.

    Chappell L

    Nature reviews. Microbiology 2014;12;4;238

  • Finding a needle in a haystack. Microbial metatranscriptomes.

    Chappell L

    Nature reviews. Microbiology 2012;10;7;446

  • Expressions of individuality.

    Chappell L

    Nature reviews. Microbiology 2011;9;10;701

  • Found in translation.

    Chappell L

    Nature reviews. Microbiology 2014;12;4;238

  • Phosphoinositide metabolism links cGMP-dependent protein kinase G to essential Ca²⁺ signals at key decision points in the life cycle of malaria parasites.

    Brochet M, Collins MO, Smith TK, Thompson E, Sebastian S et al.

    PLoS biology 2014;12;3;e1001806

  • Vector transmission regulates immune control of Plasmodium virulence.

    Spence PJ, Jarra W, Lévy P, Reid AJ, Chappell L et al.

    Nature 2013;498;7453;228-31

  • Finding a needle in a haystack. Microbial metatranscriptomes.

    Chappell L

    Nature reviews. Microbiology 2012;10;7;446

Chappell, Lia
Lia's Timeline
2016

Joined Thierry Voet's group to work on new single cell methods

Joined the Malaria programme to work on RNA-seq data

2014

Joined the Sequencing R&D team.

Graduated from the University of Cambridge with my PhD degree.

2013

Started a one-year Post Doc in the Parasite Genomics team (led by Matt Berriman).

Submitted my PhD thesis ("Novel Approaches for Transcriptome Analysis in Plasmodium Parasites").

2010

Joined the Parasite Genomics team for my PhD project- which was about improving RNA-seq in AT-rich Malaria parasites. Matt Berriman was my main supervisor, Julian Rayner was my second supervisor.

2009

Joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute PhD programme - the first year included three rotations in faculty teams.

Graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Masters in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) - the four-year course included a Masters degree (MSci) and a Batchelors degree (BA).