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Wellcome Trust PhD Student Cohort 2018

Fay_Thea name

Following my degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Bath, I am thrilled to join this Wellcome Trust ‘Cell Therapies & Regenerative Medicine’ PhD Programme at King’s College London. As part of my undergraduate degree, I was able to affirm my passion for research by undertaking an 11-month research placement in Dr Luo’s lab in the Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. During this time I studied the autophagy adaptor protein SQSTM1 and its novel role in selective DNA regulation. After returning to Bath for my final year, I joined Professor Tosh’s lab where I was involved in the characterization of novel transcription factors associated with transdifferentiation events that occur in Barrett’s Oesophagus disease.  

For my PhD and further research career I aim to understand novel molecular mechanisms involved in cellular programming, such trans/de-differentiation and stem cell fate maintenance. In particular, I am fascinated by induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their impending invaluable contribution towards regenerative medicine and research. Currently, I am carrying out my first rotation with Dr Guermonprez where I am attempting to preferentially differentiate iPSCs into dendritic cells with therapeutic potential. 

Thea Willis ORCID webpage

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