Faculty of Medical Sciences

North East Fungal Forum (NEFF)

The participants of NFG use fungi as eukaryotic systems to understand key aspects of cell biology and disease

Theme Leader

Simon Whitehall

Major Research Themes

Our research encompasses a range of fungal species.  These include the model yeast systems, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, as well as pathogenic fungi such as Candida albicans, Candida auris and Cryptococcus neoformans 

Areas of interest include:

  • Carbohydrate Utilisation
  • Cellular Stress Responses
  • Chromatin & Epigenetics
  • DNA Damage Responses
  • High-throughput Screening
  • Nutrient Sensing & Acquisition
  • Pathogenesis & Infection
  • RNA processing & Quality Control
  • Telomere Function


The NFG has extensive expertise in the molecular genetics, biochemistry and cell biology of a range of fungal systems.  NFG members also have expertise in high-throughput (robotic) analyses

Key Collaborations

NFG provides an opportunity for researchers within the faculty and across the region to interact.  A number of collaborative papers and grants have resulted from work initiated or cemented through NFG.

Developing Researchers

NFG provides a platform for PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and senior researchers to present their data in a friendly and supportive environment. This is especially important for PhD students, for many of whom this is the first opportunity to communicate their research findings.  NFG meetings are organised by students, allowing students the opportunity to gain organisational skills and experience of chairing a scientific meeting. 

Impact and Engagement

NFG meetings take place up to four times a year where seminars are given by a mixture of internal and external speakers from other leading universities.  These meetings provide a constructive environment for the exchange of ideas and the setting up of potential collaborations.

Staff List

Dr Jeremy Brown
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7470

Dr Elisabeth Lowe
Newcastle University Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8796

Professor David Lydall
Professor of Genome Stability

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5318

Dr Laura Maringele
Lecturer (Genome Instability)

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 2088146

Professor Brian Morgan
Professor of Yeast Molecular Biology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7694

Professor Janet Quinn
Professor of Eukaryotic Microbiology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7434

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6282

Dr Claudia Schneider
Royal Society University Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7708

Dr Elizabeth Veal
Reader in Molecular Biology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7596/7444 (lab)

Dr Nick Watkins
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6991

Dr Simon Whitehall
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5989