Following my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Southampton, I worked as a medical laboratory assistant in Bristol Southmead Hospital for two years. This enabled me to gain some perspective of medical science outside of academia. However, I realised that I was more interested in pursuing a career in research, and after gaining my MSc in Molecular Neuroscience from the University of Bristol I joined the DiMeN DTP at the University of Leeds in 2016.

In my project, I am using the model organism C. elegans to study the communication of cell stress responses between tissues; which I hope will provide novel insights into the pathogenesis and development of protein-misfolding conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Beyond the specific project I applied for, the DiMeN DTP particularly appealed to me as an opportunity for training across multiple institutions. Rather than joining the university as an individual PhD student, being part of a cohort with varied research interests not only gives a broader view of current research but also enables collaboration and support. In addition, as a student representative for my cohort at Leeds I have been able to attend meetings of the DTP management board, enabling effective discussion of questions and comments from others on the programme.

Project Highlights

At the 2017 UK Chaperone Club Meeting in Leeds, I was awarded the prize for the best flash presentation. Separately, I have also been awarded additional funding for training in maths and computing.

Other conferences at which I have presented my research include:

  • 2016 UK Chaperone Club Meeting, Canterbury (poster)
  • 2017 UoL FBS Postgraduate Symposium, Leeds (flash presentation)
  • 2017 Astbury Society Retreat (poster)
  • 2017 North East Postgraduate Conference, Newcastle (short presentation)

PhD Title: A Novel Strategy to Control Protein Misfolding Diseases and Ageing: Molecular Mechanisms of Transcellular Chaperone Signalling in C. elegans

Supervisors: Dr Patricija van Oosten-Hawle (Leeds), Prof David Westhead (Leeds)