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Gene Editing ;

5 minutes with Ina Guri

Ina Guri is a PhD student in the St John's Institute of Dermatology and is a member of the Wellcome Trust Advanced Therapies for Regenerative Medicine cohort 2021. We spent 5 minutes with Ina, learning about her research interests and background, as well as the one thing she can't go a day without.

Ina Guri

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!

Quick Fire

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


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