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Dr Mairi Kilkenny 

Dr Mairi Kilkenny
Year started




Fellow Type

Lecturers, Professors and College Officers,

Mairi Kilkenny is the Senior Postgraduate Tutor at Churchill College. She also holds the role of Assistant Director of Teaching in the Department of Biochemistry, where she is involved in the planning, organisation and delivery of 5 courses across the Natural Sciences, Medical Sciences and Veterinary Sciences Triposes (1A Biology of Cells, 1A Molecules in Medical Science, 1B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Part II and Part III Biochemistry).

Mairi obtained her BSc and MSc (in Chemistry) from the University of Cape Town, and her PhD (in Biochemistry) from the University of Cambridge (Sidney Sussex College, 2001-2004). She worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Cancer Research (London) for 5 years, studying mechanisms of DNA repair and the maintenance of genome stability. In 2010 she returned to the Department of Biochemistry in Cambridge as a post-doctoral researcher, where her multi-disciplinary research focused on elucidating the mechanisms of accurate and efficient DNA replication in human cells, utilising a range of structural and biophysical techniques. In 2012 she became a post-doctoral teaching associate in the Department of Biochemistry, and was promoted to Senior Research Associate in 2014. Her more recent work has included a collaborative drug discovery project using AI to develop novel inhibitors of enzymes involved in DNA replication.

Mairi teaches on the Part 1B course Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as well as on Part II Biochemistry, and she is also a BMB supervisor for several Cambridge Colleges. She has a keen interest in state school outreach work, and has been involved in several projects to encourage young girls to engage with STEM subjects. She often organises science days for primary schools in the Cambridge/London area, with the aim of bringing experiments into the classroom.

Department of Biochemistry

College Positions

Senior Postgraduate Tutor

19 September 2022 – Present