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Nick Kent

Dr Nick Kent


School of Biosciences

+44 29208 79036
Sir Martin Evans Building, Room School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Available for postgraduate supervision


DNA in cells does not function as a naked double helix but is bound by various structural proteins to form chromatin. The modulation of chromatin structure is a key process in the catalysis and regulation of gene transcription, DNA replication and DNA repair. I use novel next-generation chromatin sequencing techniques to analyse chromatin function in a variety of organisms including humans, plants, flies, yeast and archaea.The aim of my research is to understand basic chromatin biology relevant to human health, crop improvement and the evolution of genome structure. My most recent funding has been from the BBSRC.


–Module Leader: BI3254 Genes to Genomes
–School Radiation Protection Supervisor
–Genomics Research Hub Lead

–Year 3 Coordinator


Interested in joining my lab as a self-funded post-graduate student or a postdoc/fellow?  Please contact me by email.

















I received a BSc. (Hons) from the University of East Anglia in 1989, a D.Phil from the University of Oxford in 1994, and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2008.

During my doctoral work in Jane Mellor's laboratory in Oxford, I became interested in how the physical packaging of DNA influences gene expression, and developed technology for digesting yeast chromatin with nucleases in order to map chromatin structure which is still used widely today (Kent et al., 1993; Kent and Mellor, 1995). From 1994, I undertook post-doctoral work at Oxford in both the Biochemistry Department (Mellor lab) and the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology (Proudfoot lab), and became a Departmental Lecturer in the Genetics Unit in 2002. During this time in Oxford, I worked on co-activator/repressor complexes which use energy from ATP hydrolysis to remodel chromatin structure, and played a key role in discovering the cellular functions of the ISWI and CHD classes of these enzymes (Kent et al., 2001; Alen et al., 2002, Morillion et al., 2003, Martinez-Campa et al., 2004).

In 2006, I took up a Lectureship at Cardiff University and have since published papers: characterising chromatin environments at the rDNA locus and telomeres (Jones et al., 2007; Loney et al., 2009); dissecting the role of the SWI/SNF class ATPase RSC in chromatin-remodelling during chromosome break formation and repair (Kent et al., 2007; Chambers et al., 2012a); identifying a role for the INO80 class ATPase in centromere function and genome stability (Chambers et al., 2012b). The main focus of my lab is now developing chromatin-SEQ techniques to analyse chromatin structure and function at a genome-wide level (Kent et al., 2011; Durand-Dubief et al., 2012; Platt et al., 2013; Platt et al.,2017). I have continued to explore chromatin remodelling in model organism systems such as fission yeast and Arabidopsis (Gal et al., 2015; Pass et al., 2017) and also human cells (Harwood et al., 2019). I also played a part in the discovery of the novel beads-on-a-string "supernucleosome" architectures now known to be present in archaeal cells  (Maruyama et al., 2013; Ofer, S. et al., 2023).

Professional memberships

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy