MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

Nick Gilbert Research Group

Chromatin Structure and Genome Integrity

Professor Nick Gilbert

Research in a Nutshell 

In mammalian cells DNA is wrapped around proteins to form chromatin. This protects DNA from damage and regulates gene transcription. Our lab is studying the protein and epigenetic factors that modify DNA and chromatin structure influencing gene expression and genome stability

A key goal of our research is to understand how changes in chromatin structure affect gene expression and genome stability in disease. These studies will help us to understand this process and develop future drugs to treat diseases like cancer.


Group External Website 

Nick Gilbert Research Group 2022


Professor Nick Gilbert Group Leader
Jon Stocks PhD student
James Ding Postdoctoral Scientist
Waad Albawardi PhD student
Rafal Czapiewski Postdoctoral Scientist
Catherine Naughton Senior Postdoctoral Scientist
Patrick Kearns Clinical PhD Student

Elena Lazarova

PhD Student
Tasnim Alamgir Hussain PhD student



  1. SAF-A Regulates Interphase Chromosome Structure through Oligomerization with Chromatin-Associated RNAs (22 pages) 15 Jun 2017 in Cell, vol. 169, pp. 1214-1227.e1 DOI Research output: Contribution to Journal › Article (Published)
  2. Gene structure heterogeneity drives transcription noise within human chromosomes Michael ChiangChris A. BrackleyCatherine NaughtonRyu-Suke NozawaCleis BattagliaDavide MarenduzzoNick Gilbert bioRxiv 2022.06.09.495447; doi:
  3. Human centromere formation activates transcription and opens chromatin fibre structure Catherine NaughtonCovadonga HuidobroClaudia R. CatacchioAdam BuckleGraeme R. GrimesRyu  Suke NozawaStefania PurgatoMariano RocchiNick Gilbert bioRxiv 2021.08.01.454615; doi:
  4. Marenda M, Lazarova E, Gilbert N. The role of SAF-A/hnRNP U in regulating chromatin structure. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2022 Feb;72:38-44. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2021.10.008. Epub 2021 Nov 22. PMID: 34823151.
  5. Boteva L, Nozawa RS, Naughton C, Samejima K, Earnshaw WC, Gilbert N. Common Fragile Sites Are Characterized by Faulty Condensin Loading after Replication Stress. Cell Rep. 2020 Sep 22;32(12):108177. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108177. PMID: 32966795; PMCID: PMC7511797.

Full publication list can be found on Research Explorer: Nick Gilbert — University of Edinburgh Research Explorer


  • Professor Mark Bradley, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Davide Marenduzzo, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Ian Adams, HGU 

Partners and Funders

  • MRC
  • Wellcome
  • LifeArc
  • Medical Research Scotland


Scientific Themes

Chromatin, DNA, Transcription, Genome Stability