Current Group Members


Evelina Kulcinskaja (postdoctoral researcher)

Evelina was awarded her PhD from Lund University, Sweden, in 2015. Her PhD work involved the characterisation of polysaccharide degrading enzymes from human gut bacteria. Prior to her doctoral studies, she completed a Masters in Molecular Biology at the same institute. Evelina is originally from Lithuania, but has lived in Sweden since a very young age. In October 2015, she joined our research group here in Nottingham to work on the development and application of transaminase biocatalysts for the sustainable synthesis of optically pure chiral amines.


Michael Sharkey (postdoctoral researcher)

Mike joined the group in April 2017, having completed a PhD and several years of postdoctoral research in Biochemistry in University College Dublin.  He has extensive experience in enzymology, protein engineering and assay development.  His work in the O’Reilly Group is focused on the identification of novel bacterial transaminases with activity towards industrially-relevant targets. His project is in collaboration with CHAIN biotech.


James Ryan (PhD student)

James began his PhD in 2014 at Manchester Metropolitan University . His project focuses on the development of chemo-enzymatic approaches to allow access to optically pure alkaloids of both pharmaceutical and agricultural interest, using transaminase biocatalysts. He is jointly supervised by Elaine, Dr Vittorio Caprio (MMU) and Dr Beatriz Macia-Ruiz (MMU) and will spend some time working in Nottingham in the coming months.

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Amalina Mohd Amin (PhD student)

Amalina Mohd Amin began her PhD in 2014 and is jointly supervised by Prof. Pete Licence. Her research focuses on the immobilization of transaminase biocatalysts using polymerizable ionic liquids with the aim of generating robust enzymes for suitable for a range of organic chemistry and industrial applications.


Andrew Gomm (PhD student)

Andrew joined the group in September 2015 after completing his degree here at Nottingham. The project will focus on the application of transaminase biocatalysts in organic synthesis with a particular focus on developing enzymes for industrial processes.


Stelios Grigoriou (PhD student)

Stelios joined the group in September 2015, having completed his MsC at the University of Athens. His research aims to construct a multi-bacterial structure, which mimics flow chemistry processes, and is capable of supplying a substrate, producing biocatalysts and trapping a high-value product. Stelios is jointly supervised by Elaine, Dr Phil Hill (Biosciences) and Prof John King (Mathematics).

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Tom Clarke (PhD student)

Tom joined the group in 2015. He is a member of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Chemistry here at Nottingham and his research is centered on the development of chemo-enzymatic processes for the conversion of low-value, renewable platform molecules into high-value chemicals.


Chris Peel (PhD student)

Chris joined our group in April 2016 as part of the EPSRC CDT in Sustainable Chemistry, having completed his MSci in Chemistry here at Nottingham. His PhD project will explore the use of multi-enzyme cascades to furnish industrially relevant scaffolds starting from biomass-derived platform chemicals.



 Harry Eastman

Harry Eastman was born in Portsmouth and did his undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey.  Harry's PhD research involves traditional total synthesis (with Prof. John Moses) and development of chemo-enzymatc routes to valuable chiral compounds (Dr. E. O'Reilly and Dr Anca Pordea).


Justyna Kuska

Justyna completed an MSc in Biology-Biotechnology at the University of Copenhagen, where she worked on the development of a LPMO enzymatic assay and evaluation of it's activity.  Prior to that, Justyna studied Biotechnology in her native Poland. In September 2016, she joined the BBSRC's Doctoral Training Programme at the University of Nottingham and in April 2017, she joined our group to embark on her PhD studies. Justyna's project focuses on the development of imine reductases with entirely new substrate specificity. 

Previous Group Members


Vera Salgado (summer placement student)

Vera joined our group in June 2016 for an 8 week summer project, having completed her MSc in Applied Microbiology at The University of Lisbon. Her project was funded by the BBSRC IBCarb Network and focused on the biocatalytic conversion of simple commercial sugars into high-value chemicals. Vera has accepted a position in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Chemistry here at Nottingham and will join the CDT in September 2016.