Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


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Phillip North

Research Assistant

 RILD Building Level 4


University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Building, RD&E Hospital Wonford, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK


After completing his undergraduate studies at Plymouth Polytechnic, Phill worked as an MLSO in diagnostic haematology gaining an important insight into the Health challenges across the UK and the importance of the NHS in dealing with these challenges. After five years of diagnostic work, at Queen Marys and the Royal Free Hospitals, Phill entered academic research working with Gillie Francis. This work focused on leukaemia research looking for synergistic combination treatments.

In 1987, Phill moved to the MRC Radiobiology Unit in Oxfordshire beginning a long career in DNA repair studies. Working with Professor John Thacker, he developed an in-vitro assay showing for the first time that micro-homology sequence, either side of double strand DNA breaks, may be used in the repair of DNA. He moved on to work for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (later Cancer Research UK), with Professor Ian Hickson, identifying the Role of the Blooms’ syndrome protein in maintaining genomic stability. Phill worked as a Higher Scientific Officer with Professor Hickson for over twenty years. He completed his D.Phil with the University of Oxford as the Genomic Integrity group wound up its work in Oxford and relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark. Later, he continued to work at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Biology, in the MRC Haematology Unit with Associate Professor Tom Milne examining the control of gene expression is a driver of leukaemogenesis.

Phill, relocated to Devon and has continued his career with the University of Exeter at the RILD building. Frist, as a research technician he supported work on diabetes with Professor Noel Morgan, Associate Professor Sarah Flanagan, Senior Lecturer Craig Beall, Elisa De Franco and Matt Johnson. His current post, as a Research Assistant, develops the research of Associate Professor Mattia Frontini modeling human genetic variation found in coagulation disorders using stem cells.


Research interests

Phill has always been interested in using cell and molecular biology to understand human disease. This has especially focused on the interaction of proteins with DNA, which has led to his work on DNA repair, the control of gene expression and cancer/leukaemia formation and maintenance.

Phill has often been driven by a desire for direct clinical application of his work, using his cell culture and molecular biology skills to create in-vivo model cell lines to study disease and develop novel therapies.

Research projects

  • Role of Von Willebrand Factor and epithelial cell interaction in coagulation
  • Proteins essential in correct Megakaryocyte differentiation and platelet production function


Supervision / Group

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