Ms Alex Aitken

Ms Margaret Aitken

Molecular Biology Laboratory Manager

Department: Core Research Laboratories
Division: Molecular Biology Laboratories
Contact: email
Phone: 02079425599


I am a laboratory manager for the Molecular Laboratories based in DC2 with responsibilities for running and maintaining the lab resources; space, equipment, consumables and finances. I have over 25 years experience working in the molecular biology field; molecular genetics, genetic engineering, proteomics, transcriptomics. I routinely teach, train and supervise students and visitors to the lab in molecular techniques and also run workshops and training events. My research is mainly based on establishing new protocols and working with difficult specimen material, but I also assist in several current projects within the lab as well as performing consultancy work. Currently I am working with environmental DNA (eDNA) material with particular emphasis on water, looking to establish an eDNA toolkit for fieldwork with robust extraction and analysis techniques.



BSC (Hons) Biotechnology, NESCOT, United Kingdom, 1991 - 1995

Employment history


Clinical Scientist, St Thomas Hospital, Coagulation Research Laboratory, Haemophilia Centre, United Kingdom, 1996 - ongoing

Laboratory Manager/Senior Technician/Safety Officer, The Kenedy Institute of Rheumatology, Immunity and Inflammation, United Kingdom, 2003 - ongoing

Molecular Laboratory Manager, The Natural History Museum, Core Research Laboratories, United Kingdom, 2007 - ongoing

Research Assistant, UMDS, Guy's Hospital, Experimental Pathology, United Kingdom, 1994 - ongoing

Research Associate, Novartis Horsham Research Centre, Biology, United Kingdom, 1999 - ongoing

Senior Scientific Officer, Cancer Research UK, Developmental Signalling Laboratory, United Kingdom, 2001 - ongoing

Technical Officer, BIBRA International, Genetic Toxicology, United Kingdom, 1989 - ongoing


Clark J, Aleksiyadis K, Martin A, McNamee K, Tharmalingam T, Williams R, Me´met S, Cope A (2011) Inhibitor of Kappa B Epsilon (IkBe) Is a Non-Redundant Regulator of c-Rel-Dependent Gene Expression in Murine T and B Cells.. PLoS One, 6 (9): 1 - 17.

Moyes D, Martin A, Sawcer S, Temperton N, Worthington J, Griffiths DJ, Venables P (2005) The distribution of the endogenous retroviruses HERV-K113 and HERV-K115 in health and disease. Genomics, 86

Patel Y, Rahman S, Spooner G, Sumathipala R, Mitchel M, Flynn G, Aitken A, Savidge G, Smith M (2003) Evidence for a role for Gi1 in mediating weak agonist-induced platelet aggregation in human platelets. Reduced Gi1 expression and defective Gi signalling in the platelets of a patient suffering from a chronic bleeding disorder.. Blood, 101 (12)

RAHMAN S, FLYNN G, AITKEN A, PATEL Y, HUSSAIN F, LU X, LOFTUS JC, FRENCH D, WIJELATH E, STRAND K, SAVIDGE GF (2000) Differential recognition of snake venom proteins expressing specific Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence motifs by wild-type and variant integrin αIIbβ3: further evidence for distinct sites of RGD ligand recognition exhibiting negative allostery. Biochemical Journal, 345 (3): 701 - 701. doi: 10.1042/0264-6021:3450701

Rahman S, Aitken A, Flynn G, Formstone C, Savidge GF (1998) Modulation of RGD Peptide Motifs Regulates Disintegrin Recognition of αIIbβ3 and a5b1 Integrin Complexes. Biochem J, 335 (2): 247 - 257.

Aitken A, Raguz S, Antoniou M (1998) Gene transfer and Expression in Tissue Culture cells of Higher Eukaryotes. , Rapley R, Walker J, Molecular Biomethods Hand Book., pp. 235 - 250. Humana Press Inc..