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Dr Yvonne Nyathi

Lecturer in Biochemistry

Faculty/Dept/School School of Chemistry and Bioscience
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
Emaily.nyathi@bradford.ac.uk
Telephone +441274 234850

Biography

 Dr Yvonne Nyathi joined the University of Bradford in February 2020 as a Lecturer in Biochemistry. The field of protein quality control (proteostasis) broadly covers Yvonne’s previous and present research interests. Her PhD research focused on elucidating the mechanisms regulating the targeting, localisation and function of an ABCD1 transporter protein pivotal in peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation. In 2010 when Yvonne finished her PHD, she  worked as a R&D scientist at Aptuscan Ltd (a spin-out company of the University of Leeds which is now part of the Avacta Group), developing proprietary combinatorial libraries and reagents for the platform Affimer technology (antibody mimetics with tuneable affinity and avidity) that underpins one of the key technologies in the company to date. The transition from an academic research environment to a commercial setting at a very early stage in her research career sparked her interest in translational research, which she is currently very keen to pursue. Following the acquisition of Aptuscan by The Avacta Group, Yvonne joined Dr Martin Pool’s lab at the University of Manchester, studying mechanisms that regulate protein quality control at the ribosome. Yvonne’s work showed that the quality control factors at the ribosome compete for bind and all events are tightly regulated to reduce the chances of mistakes during protein synthesis. This work led to a publication in the Journal of Cell Biology and attracted a commentary in Nature reviews. In 2014,  Yvonne then joined  Prof Stephen High’ lab  at the University of Manchester, working collaboratively with the chemical biology/structural biology group of Dr Rivka Isaacson (Kings College) focusing on the role of chaperones in mislocalised protein quality control. In 2017, Yvonne joined the University of Lincoln to pursue her research interests in protein quality control focusing on the role of the co-chaperone SGTA in protein misfolding/aggregation in the context of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and in the signalling pathways that regulate cancer .

Teaching

Teaching interests

Biochemistry

Metabolism

Protein folding and disease

Clinical and Analytical Biochemistry

Biological Analysis

Protein Expression and Purification

Cell Biology

Microbiology

Infection and Immunity

Teaching highlights

One of the complaints raised by students during the module evaluation was that for the Biological Analysis module (which I led while working at the University of Lincoln), the content they were required to remember was in many cases very abstract as they could not perform wet lab for all the techniques covered on the module. In response to this, I applied and successfully secured a Teaching Innovation Fund to develop multimedia resources by filming and recording laboratory techniques performed in the labs at the University of Lincoln. This was a one-year student-led project which involved filming, video editing and subtitling. I introduced these resources to support teaching and learning of the module. This was accompanied by an improvement in student satisfaction scores from 69 % to 85 % compared to the previous year. Moreover, the average module mark for a cohort of 175 students increased from 62% to 69%, suggesting this approach was accompanied by significant learning gains. This is very important to me as it highlights that we need to listen to the students and make an effort to improve their learning experience.