Dr James Chapman

Research Associate


I started a Post-Doc position within the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research in 2020 to work under the supervision of Dr Thomas Nicholls. Prior to this I completed a PhD within the Campus for Ageing and Vitality at Newcastle University where I studied the relationship between mitochondria and the ageing process. Specifically, my project focused on understanding the mechanisms whereby dysfunctional mitochondria provoke an inflammatory phenotype during cellular senescence and how this can offer a potential anti-ageing target.

In addition to my academic research experience, I have also spent a period of time working in industry. Initially, I spent a year working as an industrial placement student at GlaxoSmithKline where I worked on the development of dermatological products. Following the completion of my undergraduate degree, I then spent a further 18 months working in the Consumer Healthcare R&D division of GlaxoSmithKline which involved developing and guiding new dermatological products through clinical trials.

Research Focus

My current research project is investigating the interplay between mitochondrial dynamics and the organisation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Clinically, mutations that occur within genes associated with the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics or mtDNA organisation lead to the development of severe mitochondrial disease phenotypes. At this stage, the molecular basis of these processes is not well understood and therefore treatment is difficult. As such, this project utilises an array of molecular, genetic and cell biology techniques to study these processes in human cells with the aim of characterising the molecular players that underpin these biological processes.

Sponsor/Funder: Rosetrees and Stoneygate Trust

  • October 2019 – Poster – 10th Annual Alliance for Healthy Ageing Conference (UK)
  • May 2019 – Poster and Oral Presentation – Senescence Symposium (UK)
  • Jan 2019 – Invited Speaker – European Academy for Healthy Ageing (Belgium)
  • Oct 2018 -Travel Award and Poster – 9th Annual Alliance for Healthy Ageing Conference (USA)
  • Oct 2017 – Travel Award and Poster – 8th Annual Alliance for Healthy Ageing Conference (Netherlands)
  • December 2016 – Poster – Senescence UK (UK)
  • Participated as an ageing biologist in the BBC TV show “How to Stay Young”
  • Member of the Research Culture Focus Group and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group within the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research
  • A Microscopy Prize winner in the Newcastle University Biosciences Institute annual image competition
  • Contributed scientific images to the Rosetrees Trust that feature on their website
  • Active peer-reviewer for various scientific journals
  • On the reviewers board for the MDPI journal “Membranes”