Innate tumour immunology and protein regulation at the endoplasmic reticulum
I am a first year DPhil student working within the Parkes group. A major research theme of the group is to understand the role of the cGAS-STING pathway (an innate immune response to cytosolic DNA) in cancer. My project is co-supervised by Prof. John Christianson at the Botnar Research Centre, and will look to mechanistically characterise the regulation of STING signalling at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in cancerous models. Eventually, I aim to determine the effects of ER-based STING regulation within the wider tumour microenvironment, and whether this contributes to tumour progression and drug resistance.
I graduated from Durham University with an honours degree in Biological Sciences (BSc). My interest in cancer biology was prompted during summer studentships conducted in the Blagden laboratory (also within this Department), where I helped characterise the role of RNA-binding proteins in cancer cell invasion, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. As part of my undergraduate degree, I undertook an industrial placement year at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg (Sweden) where I developed cellular thermal shift assays (‘CETSAs’) to probe drug-target engagement in various disease models. In my final year at Durham, I harnessed computational methods to investigate post-translational mechanisms regulating the LINC complex (Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton), a macromolecular assembly which mechanically couples the nucleus to the cytoskeleton.
Outside of my DPhil I enjoy running, and I sing regularly with the University College Chapel Choir.