• United Kingdom

    • School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    Dr John Reynolds is a Lecturer in the School of Biosciences.  His main area of expertise is in understanding the cellular response to DNA damage, and the link between defective DNA repair and human disease.


    Key Research Interests:

    • Understand the cellular pathways that detect and repair DNA damage and protect DNA replication.
    • Investigate why mutations in DNA repair genes cause human disease.
    • Develop better therapy strategies to treat human diseases linked to genome instability, such as cancer.


    DNA Damage and Human Disease

    The DNA in our cells is constantly being damaged from external and internal sources. To combat this, and to prevent genome instability, cells have evolved a multitude of efficient DNA repair pathways that detect, signal and repair DNA damage.

    The importance of these DNA repair pathways is highlighted by the existence of numerous human genetic diseases associated with mutations in DNA repair factors. Two major classes of symptoms associated with defective responses to DNA damage are: increased pre-disposition to cancer and deficiency of the central nervous system.

    The study of these human diseases has provided invaluable insight into the mechanisms of how cellular DNA repair pathways function to maintain genome stability and protect human health.


    DNA Replication and DNA damage

    Accurate and efficient duplication of the genome is essential for the continuation of life, and anything that obstructs or slows DNA replication is collectively called ‘replication stress’. An inability to deal with replication stress leads to genome instability and contributes to the development of human disease. In particular, replication stress is strongly linked to the development of cancer, and mutations in genes involved in responding to replication stress are typically associated with developmental defects. To prevent genome instability, numerous factors function within the cellular response to replication stress to ensure DNA replication forks progress efficiently and are protected from damage.



    October 2006 - December 2010:  PhD in Biochemistry, University of Sussex, UK.  

    October 2002 - July 2006:  MBiolSci in Genetics and Microbiology, University of Sheffield, UK.


    May 2023 to date:  Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, School of Biosciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

    January 2012 - April 2023:  Research Fellow, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.

    January 2011 - December 2012:  Research Fellow, Genome Damage and Stability Centre, University of Sussex, UK.

    PhD Supervision

    Dr Laura Grange (Completed 2022). 

    Thesis title: Pathogenic mutations in components of the SMC5/6 complex cause segmented chromosomes and mosaic variegated hyperploidy.

    Contact Details

    Email: j.reynolds5@aston.ac.uk

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, Investigating the link between defective DNA end-processing and human neurological disease, University of Sussex

    Oct 2006Dec 2010

    Award Date: 8 Apr 2011

    External positions

    Honorary Research Fellow, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences; University of Birmingham; Birmingham UK

    Apr 2023 → …


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