Imperial College London


Central FacultyHuman Resources Division

Consultant, Postdoc Development Centre



+44 (0)20 7594 8873k.hinxman Website




Sherfield BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Karen is a Consultant within the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (PFDC) at Imperial. She gained her PhD in Structural Biology from the University of York, before joining a research institute affiliated with McGill University, Canada. Two years later she returned to the UK to undertake a three year Research Associate position at the University of Warwick. During her time as a researcher she published several publications in her maiden name, Ruane.  

Karen is passionate about helping early career researchers reach their full potential. She does this by directing the strategic vision of the PFDC to ensure that all postdoc and fellows, from across the College, can access tailored support and development opportunities.  

Her work, and that of the PFDC Team, was recognised in 2022 as they were recipients of the Team Presidents Award for Excellence in Collegiality.

Institute-wide initiatives 

Secretary, Researcher Development Committee: Karen helps to push the strategic direction of how Imperial supports its researchers. She was pivotal in establishing this committee. It was convened in 2020 to support and promote Imperial's commitment to creating a positive research culture that values researchers and supports their professional and personal development at all career stages and that ensures a healthy working environment.

To support the Colleges obligations to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, she conducted a gap analysis, wrote, collated, formatted, edited and submitted to Provost Board the initial Concordat Action plan and subsequent progress reports.

Karen sits on the cross-College Research Worksteam which is conducting a review of Research terms and conditions and the use of fixed term contracts and is a member of Imperial’s Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team

Course delivery 

Karen currently delivers the following courses for the PFDC at Imperial: 

Working with Departments 

She works closely with departments through hosting the PFDC Reps Network, a College wide network of Postdocs who are spread across all departments and campuses and total 70 representatives.  She also initiated and coordinates the annual Faculty of Engineering Dame Julia Higgins Postdoc Collaborative Fund .  Since 2022 this fund has been rolled out to include 6 departments from the Faculty of Medicine.  

To find out more about the activities that Karen and the PFDC team are involved in, please go to the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre website, or follow us on twitter @ImperialPFDC



Ruane KM, Lloyd AJ, Fülöp V, et al., 2013, Specificity determinants for lysine incorporation in Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan as revealed by the structure of a MurE enzyme ternary complex., J Biol Chem, Vol:288, Pages:33439-33448

Majce V, Ruane KM, Gobec S, et al., 2013, Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of a UDP-MurNAc-tripeptide D-alanyl-D-alanine-adding enzyme (PaMurF) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa., Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun, Vol:69, Pages:503-505

Rangarajan ES, Ruane KM, Proteau A, et al., 2011, Structural and enzymatic characterization of NanS (YjhS), a 9-O-Acetyl N-acetylneuraminic acid esterase from Escherichia coli O157:H7., Protein Sci, Vol:20, Pages:1208-1219

Quan S, Koldewey P, Tapley T, et al., 2011, Genetic selection designed to stabilize proteins uncovers a chaperone called Spy., Nat Struct Mol Biol, Vol:18, Pages:262-269

Ruane KM, Davies GJ, Martinez-Fleites C, 2008, Crystal structure of a family GT4 glycosyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis ORF BA1558., Proteins, Vol:73, Pages:784-787

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