Whilst I was an undergraduate at the University of York studying biology, I developed a keen interest in scientific research, particularly in immunology. After graduating from York in 2015, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in academia. In order to broaden my research skill set, I applied for a Master's degree where I could improve my computational biology skills.
Newcastle University awarded me with a "Newcastle University Women into Postgraduate Science and Engineering Scholarship", to study for a Master's in Bioinformatics at their School of Computing. During my time there, I combined my continued interest in immunology with bioinformatics as part of my dissertation project.
Following this, I won a prestigious "Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship" to take up a PhD position in Dr Darren Newton's Clonal Evolution Group at the University of Leeds, working on a project that combines my experimental skills in biology with bioinformatics. My project involves developing immune repertoire sequencing techniques and applying them to the disease model Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria.
I am currently on the representative board for Leeds Omics.
My PhD project "Immunological repertoire analysis by next generation sequencing", involves developing experimental and computational techniques for investigating how the human immune system (immune cell receptor repertoire) changes and adapts in response to disease. My experimental methods focus primarily on identifying T-cell receptor gene rearrangements, collectively known as T-cell receptor repertoires, which are important markers for modelling changes in adaptive immune responses.
Initially, my project will focus on the disease Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH). PNH is a rare, acquired disease which is life-threatening if left untreated and is associated with bone-marrow failure. In PNH, the body's complement system attacks normal red blood cells, allowing the clonal expansion of PNH (PIGA mutated) red blood cells. This can lead to complications including extravascular haemolysis.
Recent studies in the Section of Experimental Haematology have identified a role for T-cells in the mechanisms of the disease. I hope to continue this work by applying next generation sequencing techniques.
- MSc Bioinformatics, Newcastle University
- BSc (Hons) Biology, University of York
Research groups and institutes
- Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
- Experimental Haematology