Briefly, tell us about your background and career up to this point?
I graduated with an MEng in Biomedical Engineering from Queen Mary and then spent 3 years in Newcastle working in medial device development within the Medical Physics department at the RVI. During the pandemic I worked as a medical technologist in ICU at Guy's and St Thomas'. I then decided it was finally time to do a PhD and was lucky enough to be accepted into the Wellcome Trust PhD programme in regenerative medicine. I’m currently doing my PhD in developing a gene editing therapy for a severe genetic skin condition called dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) supervised by Dr Joanna Jacków and Professor John McGrath.
What is a typical day like for you?
I’ve just started my project, so my full routine hasn’t started yet but I don’t expect to have a typical day – I think it will be very varied between lab work, meetings, writing etc.
Looking back, did the pandemic and resulting lockdowns teach you anything you’re willing to share?
I worked in the ICU at Guy's and St Thomas' during the pandemic and it taught me (confirmed actually) how brilliant, hardworking and resilient NHS staff are and that they deserve a lot more than they get.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Probably a lot – but also I’m very happy with where I am now, so I guess she did ok!
Do you have any current projects that you’d like to tell us about?
In my PhD project, I am looking at a technique called gene editing to try and correct a mutation in a gene called COL7A1 that causes DEB. I am also trying to develop a delivery system using lipid nanoparticles to safely and effectively get the ‘gene editor’ into the patient cells. I am really passionate about translational research, and I hope this work will bring us closer to clinical trials and eventually new treatments for DEB.
What do you do with your time outside academia/work?
I enjoy art and painting to relax, try to do a daily session of yoga, am trying to get more into running and generally just spending time with family and friends.
What is something positive that happened to you in 2022?
I got married!
Favourite London restaurant: Copper and Ink in Blackheath. It’s a must try - you will thank me later!
Favourite scientist: Katalin Karikó, Robert Langer or Carl Sagan
Netflix recommendation: The Last Kingdom
One thing you could not go a day without: A cup of tea for sure