I obtained my MSc in Biochemistry from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, in 2004 and then went on to do a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. After a brief stay in Brisbane, Australia, I took up a postdoctoral position with Prof. Sir Tom Blundell at the University of Cambridge in 2008. During this post I became interested in fragment-based drug discovery, which is still an emerging field when targeting protein-protein interactions. In 2012 I joined Prof. Richard Bayliss’ lab at the University of Leicester where I worked on separases. In September 2016 I was delighted to start a lectureship position at Keele University which was a joint appointment with ILL in Grenoble, France.  I am married with two children.

Research and scholarship

The Winter lab has a longstanding interest in conducting science in an area that is helpful to the community – drug research to prevent or cure diseases and investigating the interaction between the human host and viruses or parasites. Our research is focused on proteins, studying their molecular makeup, investigating how they interact with other proteins and how these interactions can be targeted through drug discovery.

The lab employs biochemical and biophysical techniques such as crystallography, small angle scattering, interface techniques using model membranes, CD, fluorescence spectroscopy, DSF, SPR, as well as protein expression and purification and cell-based assays. Our lab is also interested in compound design, molecular docking and comparative modelling which often supports and completes work done in the wet lab.

Molecular interactions between pathogens and host receptors

Characterizing the interactions between pathogens and host proteins are a main focus of our work, such as the interactions between Dengue virus and host factors or the expression profile of potential Dengue receptor protein in mosquito cells. The lab has potential projects available investigating other human viruses such as Chikungunya.

Complex formation of prohibitins in the mitochondrial membrane

Prohibitins are involved in cell homeostasis and form many interactions with other proteins within the cell (such as mitochondrial AAA-protease) as well as outside (e.g. viral envelope proteins), and are therefore of great interest to a wide scientific audience. Our work is currently focussed on determining the structure of prohibitins as well as investigating their interaction with the mitochondrial membrane using neutron and X-ray scattering and interface techniques.

Targeting visceral leishmaniasis

Interactions of the human host with parasites at a molecular level is one focus area of the research group. Leishmaniasis is a devastating parasitic disease that affects millions of people world-wide. In collaboration with other groups the Winter lab is carrying out drug discovery on potential targets in Leishmania donovani using biochemical techniques and medicinal chemistry approaches.

Computational biology

The Winter lab supports structural work with molecular modelling of

unknown protein structures and virtual docking of fragments and small

molecules into proteins. 

Visit Dr Anja Winter's website for more information about current research.


PhD students

I welcome applications from students who wish to undertake PhD or MPhil postgraduate research studies in my team. Former, and current, postgraduate students include UK nationals as well as overseas students from Europe and around the world, undertaking both full-time and part-time studies in my laboratory. Interested students can contact me directly at to discuss potential projects as well as the application process for these degrees.

Please note that students wishing to apply for funded scholarship opportunities (eg. Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme) should contact me well in advance of the deadline in order to effectively support your application.

My current research interests are indicated on the Research and Scholarship tab where you can also find a link to my research lab website. Previous postgraduate students have submitted theses (and published their work) on topics as diverse as the interaction of Dengue envelope protein with glycosaminoglycans, peptide interaction with model membranes and enzymatic characterisation of a protein from Leishmania donovani. Often, our research is in collaboration with international academic partners, large scale facilities such as ILL (France) and ISIS (Diamond, UK), and pharmaceutical companies.

School of Life Sciences,
Huxley Building,
Keele University,
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734414