Group Leader - Stephen Cochrane

Stephen Cochrane profile pictureStephen Cochrane graduated with an MSci in Chemistry from Queen's University Belfast in 2010. He then moved to the University of Alberta in Canada to undertake a PhD in organic chemistry with Professor John Vederas. His research focused on structural and mechanistic studies on antimicrobial lipopeptides, namely the tridecaptins, which show strong activity against multidrug resistant Gram-negative bacteria. In 2016 he was awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the transport of lipid-linked carbohydrates across bacterial cell membranes at the University of Oxford with Professor Benjamin Davis. During this time he also worked on the synthesis of new tunicamycin analogues with reduced cytotoxicity. In 2017 Stephen was appointed as a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at Queen's University Belfast. Outside of work Stephen is kept busy by his family and enjoys running, reading, triple IPAs, single malt whiskey and the odd video game. Curriculum Vitae


PhD students (current)

Ross Ballantine (2017)

Ross Ballantine grew up in Moira, Co. Down and graduated with a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Queen’s University Belfast in 2017. For his final year project, he studied the mechanochemical synthesis of hybrid nanocages, that had not previously been reported, with important applications in drug delivery and catalysis as part of the James Group. Following graduation, he re-joined the James Group and continued carrying out research on hybrid nanocage synthesis before beginning his post-graduate studies. His current research in the Cochrane Lab focuses on making new analogues of antimicrobial peptides and studying how this affects antimicrobial activity and receptor binding. Outside of the lab, Ross enjoys playing the piano, reading, painting and spending time with his dog Alfie!


Project students (current)

Francesca Alexander (2017)

Francesca grew up in Maghaberry (not the prison) Co. Armagh and is currently in the final year of an Msci in Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast. Her Master’s project involves the synthesis of labelled glycolipids for the study of some cool glycolipid processing enzymes. During her degree Francesca spent a summer in the Knipe lab at QUB researching catalysts for enantioselective synthesis. She also spent two months teaching Chemistry in India with the British council. During her free time Francesca enjoys cheerleading, travelling and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Conor McCallion (2017)

Conor McCallion grew up in Derry, before moving to Belfast to study Medicinal Chemistry at Queen's University Belfast. He is currently in the final year of his MSci course and has completed a research placement at Randox Laboratories in Crumlin where he worked in the Synthetic Chemistry lab. His final year project in the Cochrane Lab is directed towards the replacement of expensive amino acids in non-ribosomally synthesised antimicrobial peptides to make cheaper analogues. Outside of university Conor enjoys powerlifting and reading comic books. 


Zhouzheng (Felix) Wang (2017)

Zhuozheng Wang grew up in China and is currently in his final year of a Bsc in Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast. He conducted research on the rapid detection of tetracycline content in food using graphene-aptamer systems during his studies in Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 2016. His final year project in the Cochrane Lab is aims to synthesize analogues of the ascaroside class of pheromone to study the infectivity of nematodes. During his spare time he enjoys playing guitar and making coffee (he took a part-time job as a barista at Starbucks when he studied in China).


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Link to Stephen Cochrane Queens University Belfast Profile