Professional Profile

I am a DPhil Medical Sciences student at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine with a particular interest in the field of genetics and bioinformatics, specifically, research into mechanisms of DNA repair and their potential applications in the medical field. Consequently, this interest has been the basis of my research at the University of Lincoln as part of my undergraduate and masters degree, as well as summer research I have conducted. I am eager to work alongside skilled and professional researchers to continue my scientific education, and aspire to engage in a career in biomedical research with a view to lecture.


Laboratory Experience

DPhil

University Of Oxford, Weatherall Institute For Molecular Medicine

October 2016 – Present

Cancers must lengthen their telomeres to acquire replicative immortality. While the majority of cancers upregulate the enzyme telomerase, a small subset (10-15%) instead use the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway. The ALT cancers are currently a hot topic in the DNA repair field due to their unconventional, and dangerous, telomeric replication mechanism - break induced replication. My project is looking to find the crucial factor/factors that allow cells that would normally suppress BIR at telomeres, but fail to do so in the ALT cancers, as a means to potentially develop translational therapies targeting these factors.

Level 4 Thesis

University Of Lincoln

September 2015 – July 2016

Project with Dr Csanad Bachrati and Dr Timea Palmai-Pallag involving siRNA mediated knockdown of the two proteins from my level 3 dissertation, and subsequent monitoring of homologous recombination (HR) activity using immunocytochemical detection of known HR proteins (RAD51, RPA, 53BP1) and the DR-GFP assay. Proteins were tagged with fluorescent proteins to confirm localisation and enable in vivo studies of protein-protein interactions using confocal microscopy techniques and protein-fragment complementation assay (PCA).

Summer UROS studentship with Dr Csanad Bachrati

University Of Lincoln

June 2015 – August 2015

Human topoisomerase IIIα (TOP3A) contains a short open reading frame (uORF) in its 3’ untranslated region. As TOP3A is a protein with dual localisation was hypothesised that inactivation of this uORF would lead to altered protein localisation. This project involved the design of experiments to describe the role of the uORF in post-transcriptional regulation of TOP3A.

Summer UROS studentship & Level 3 Dissertation Research Project

University Of Lincoln

July 2014 – March 2015

Bloom’s Syndrome protein (BLM), a member of the RecQ helicase family, is a major enzymatic protein involved in homologous recombination repair. BLM has a variety of interacting partners including topoisomerase IIIα, RMI1, and a number of other proteins. This project with Dr Csanad Bachrati and Dr Timea Palmai-Pallag involved the verification of the association between BLM and two novel interacting proteins found through a large scale co- immunoprecipitation experiment.


Education

University Of Oxford

Weatherall Institute For Molecular Medicine

DPhil Medical Sciences

September 2016 - Present

Cancers must lengthen their telomeres to acquire replicative immortality. While the majority of cancers upregulate the enzyme telomerase, a small subset (10-15%) instead use the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway. The ALT cancers are currently a hot topic in the DNA repair field due to their unconventional, and dangerous, telomeric replication mechanism - break induced replication. My project is looking to find the crucial factor/factors that allow cells that would normally suppress BIR at telomeres, but fail to do so in the ALT cancers, as a means to potentially develop translational therapies targeting these factors.

University Of Lincoln

MBio Biomedical Science

Distinction (First Class Honours)

September 2012 - August 2016

Modules delivered by researchers that lead in their fields, with a balance of their personal research and core biomedical principles including genetics, microbiology, human disease, biochemistry, as well as key skills in research during the first 3 years followed by a final year of independent research whilst also developing professional skills for life science.

  • Gaining research experience at the newly opened, world class, Joseph Banks Laboratories.
  • A variety of assessment types with emphasis on not only written essay based work but also teamwork in the form of group assignments.
  • Studying at the School of Life Sciences, ranked highly in the recent 2014 government research excellence framework (REF) audit.
  • Completed level 3 (BSc equivalent) with a grade of 76%.
  • Level 3 dissertation under Dr Csanad Bachrati investigating the link between BLM helicase and two novel proteins, during which a grade of 85% was achieved.
  • Level 4 thesis under Dr Csanad Bachrati characterising, in depth, the proteins used at level 3 using a variety of techniques.

GCSE & A-Levels

2005 - 2012
  • A Level: BBC (Computing, Mathematics and Biology)
  • AS Level: B (General Studies), D (Chemistry)
  • 13 GCSEs: A-C (including Science, Mathematics, English)

Awards

IBMS President's Prize

University Of Lincoln

September 2016

The President's Prize is awarded to one student graduating from an IBMS accredited Hons programme who has achieved academic distinction in a particular year.

School Of Life Sciences Prize

University Of Lincoln

September 2016

Awarded the University of Lincoln School of Life Sciences prize for highest performing student in Biomedical Science.

School Of Life Sciences Prize

University Of Lincoln

September 2015

Awarded the University of Lincoln School of Life Sciences prize for highest performing student in Biomedical Science.

UROS Bursary

University Of Lincoln

2014 & 2015

Twice awarded the UROS (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scheme) bursary designed to undergraduate students involved in research work at university, thereby contributing to that work, and developing their own research and transferable skills.


Technical Skills

Research Skills

Throughout my research I have experienced a wide range of techniques including:

  • PCR: standard protocols, real time PCR, RFLP and TaqMan
  • RNA & DNA extraction from cells and first strand cDNA synthesis
  • Fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH), competitive, direct and indirect ELISA, immunofluorescent antibody
  • staining and other immunohistochemical methods
  • Electrophoretic assays: SDS-PAGE, acrylamide, agarose Western blot
  • Various spectroscopic methods : UV-VIS, GC-FID, atomic absorption
  • Various microbiological techniques: streak and spread plating, bacterial transformation and inoculations
  • Tissue culture: transfection, cell culturing, and tissue fixing, siRNA knockdown
  • Microscopy: epifluorescent microscopy, confocal microscopy (FRET, FLIM, FRAP), atomic force microscopy (AFM),
  • localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), protein complementation assay
  • Kits: GFP Nanotrap, Miniprep, Maxiprep, mutagenesis
  • Gateway cloning
  • Yeast 2 hybrid systems
  • Bioinformatic techniques and the use of scientific software such as ImageJ, Ilastik, Leica Application Suite Advanced Fluorescence Software, CellProfiler

Research Skills

Over the past 10 years I have learned 8 programming languages, and use many of them for freelance software and web development work. Fluent in:

  • PHP
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • C#
  • Java
  • Python
  • vb.NET

Relevant Experience

LabCalculator.net

Developer & Founder

January 2015 – Present

Over the last year I have been actively developing a comprehensive set of laboratory tools and converters designed for use by researchers and academics, as an alternative to using tools spread across the internet or calculating equations by hand. My role has been in both researching and developing these tools into a user friendly website. Most recently, we have developed a tool that aggregates information on predicted kinase phosphorylation site activity.

Science Without Frontiers Mentor

University Of Lincoln

September 2014 – August 2015

Science Without Frontiers (SWF) is a project within the University of Lincoln that facilitates Brazilian exchange students into the School of Life Sciences. My role is one of a mentor, to help the students integrate into British culture. I also help them access all of the services the university provides should they get confused, such as Blackboard, email, and the library.

Cafe Scientifique Lincoln

Media Executive

September 2013 – August 2015

Cafe Scientifique Lincoln is a grassroots organisation, bringing together individuals from various backgrounds to discuss and debate scientific topics. Having the privilege of hosting influential scientists who major in their respective fields, from the arts, to engineering and life sciences. My role was to engage prospective future attendees.


Work & Other Experience

UNICEF on Campus Lincoln Society – Media Executive

University of Lincoln Students’ Union

September 2013 – Present

Twice elected member of the committee. Working closely with the university, businesses, and the local community to raise awareness on the rights of children. Responsible for engaging members of the society in a series of events showcased throughout the academic year in an effort to raising money for UNICEF UK.

Retail Sales Assistant

Meynell’s Pet Shop, Barnard Castle

September 2009 – July 2012

Experience in customer relations, and working as a team. Considerable responsibility working shifts alone from opening until close at the end of the day. Duties including: handling money, holding keys and alarm codes to the premises, and stock ordering.


Conferences Attended

Masters Research Symposium

University of Lincoln

May 2016

Presented level 4 dissertation project in powerpoint format to both academics and peers followed by peer reviewing the presentations of my cohort.

Research Symposium

University of Lincoln

May 2015

Presented level 3 dissertation poster to academics and viewed a showcase of research projects presented by a number of Master and PhD students at the University of Lincoln.

Great Minds public lecture: Baroness Susan Greenfield

University of Lincoln

December 2014

An open lecture entitled "The Brain of the Future" focusing on the effects of modern technology on human perfections and cognition.

Great Minds public lecture: Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

University of Lincoln

September 2014

An open lecture from one of the United Kingdom’s most influential and eminent astronomers, on the subject of "Space Exploration, Life and the Cosmos".


Referees

Available Upon Request.

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