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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


PDN postdoc advisers

Post-Doc “advisers” are named people in the department that postdocs can contact with if they need advice and guidance beyond their immediate research team and PI. There is no expectation for regular meetings or formal mentorship. The advisers are available to give postdocs independent advice about their working environment or future plans. The adviser is there to listen and, where appropriate, to direct them to other sources of help or information.

Below is a list of advisers, who are available for postdocs to contact:


Sumru Bayin (

Sumru Bayin is a Group Leader at the Gurdon Institute. She completed her PhD in Stem Cell Biology at NYU Langone School of Medicine (USA), followed by postdoctoral training at the Developmental Biology Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (USA). Her lab focuses on the molecular regulation of stem cell behaviours and age-dependent regenerative mechanisms in the brain. Her group utilises a wide range of in vitro stem cell assays, mouse models, and single cell genomics. Sumru is passionate about mentoring and helping the next generation of scientists.

Abby Fowden (

Abby Fowden is an Emeritus Professor in PDN and a Fellow at Girton College. She has a wealth of research, teaching and administrative experience across the collegiate University, starting as a PhD student and progressing through the academic career structure to Head of the School of the Biological Sciences. She has taught in a wide range of courses for medical, veterinary and science students. Her research is in reproductive and developmental biology and takes an integrated comparative, multidisciplinary approach from the gene to in vivo systems level across a wide range of mammalian species.

A photograph of David Keays looking at the camera

David Keays (

David Keays is an Australian, who works in the field of sensory and developmental neuroscience. He undertook his doctoral studies at Oxford University, before starting a lab at the Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna. He currently holds a joint position at LMU in Munich, and at PDN in Cambridge. He has been awarded two ERC grants, and sat on numerous faculty selection committees.

Emma Rawlins (


Emma Rawlins is a new lecturer in PDN (since Oct 2022) but has been a PI in Cambridge since 2009. Her lab researches lung development and lung stem cells and is based at the Gurdon Institute. Emma was a PhD student in Edinburgh and a postdoc in North Carolina (USA). She received an MRC Career Development Award followed by an MRC Senior Fellowship. During her time in Cambridge, she had two children in addition to working full-time.

Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri (

Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri is an Australian who joined PDN through independent fellowships and then secured a lectureship. She is engaged in teaching and pastoral support of trainees in the department and her college. She is a mum and likes to be active and travel. “The route to independence was challenging and securing grants can be hard. I would be happy to chat with you about securing and maintaining independence, mobility in research, how to set up successful collaborations, and balancing work life with family life.”

Keita Tamura (

Keita Tamura received his PhD in 2014 from The University of Tokyo (Japan), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL (Switzerland). In 2022, he joined PDN as an assistant professor to study neuronal circuits for cognition and memory by opto-physiological approaches in primates. “Two heads are better than one - feel free to contact me.”

Erica Watson (

Erica Watson is an associate professor in PDN. Her research explores epigenetic mechanisms of transgenerational inheritance of developmental defects in mice. After her PhD (Canada), she was a Next Generation Fellow (Center for Trophoblast Research, Cambridge) and then a lecturer (assistant professor) in PDN. She teaches reproductive biology and embryology to undergraduates, and is a postgraduate College tutor (Newnham). Erica is also a mentor through the Cambridge Postdoc Academy mentoring scheme, and has sat on faculty-hiring committees. She has two young kids.