Doctoral Student at the
South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE
I am a DPhil research student within the Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership at the University of Oxford. I am a member of Prof David Vaux’s research group at Sir William Dunn School of Pathology where I work on human mitochondrial genetics research. I hold a BSc(Hons) degree in molecular genetics from the University of Edinburgh. My undergraduate research project, supervised by Dr Eric Schirmer at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, was focused on the nuclear envelope biology. Following my studies, during a year-long research assistant post in Dr Sally Lowell's research group in the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh I worked on a number of embryonic stem cell and developemntal biology research projects.
During my academic and research work I have found that my research interests lie in the exploration of the the fundamental biological processes underlying life and the applications of bioinformatics approaches in understanding these mechanisms.
Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), Interdisciplinary Bioscience
University of Oxford (BBSRC Scholarship), 2015 – 2019
BSc (Hons), Biological Sciences (Molecular Genetics), First Class Honours
Awards: Genetics & Molecular Genetics programme Class Medal and Top Student Award
University of Edinburgh, 2010 – 2014
As DPhil student in Prof David Vaux’s research group, University of Oxford
Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, 2016 - 2019
Investigation of the heteroplasmy landscape of the human mitochondrial genome
The high copy number of the human mitochondrial genome presents a fascinating system for studying genome maintenance mechanisms in conditions where, unlike the nuclear genome, DNA is subject to reduced level of purifying selection. The aim of this project is to use bioinformatics approaches to investigate the normal mitochondrial genome heteroplasmy landscape in the human population and to understand how perturbations to cellular proccesses, such as changed to DNA damage repair machinery, result in heteroplasmy changes.
As research assistant in Dr Sally Lowell’s research group, University of Edinburgh
MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, 2014 - 2015
Investigation of the effect of cell polarity in cell fate decisions during the primitive streak formation (jointly with Dr Guillaume Blin)
In an early mouse embryo during the primitive streak formation the cells undergo changes in their polarity. The investigation of such cell polarity effects on cell differentiation ability is an ongoing project in the Lowell group. My work within this project involved the development of the tools necessary for studying these polarity effects. These include a highly polarized epiblast stem cell 3D culture system, stable embryonic stem cell lines for studying cell polarity and gene expression changes, and validation of a software (developed by Dr Guillaume Blin) for cell polarity feature analysis.
Development of a fluorescence cytometry screening based method for investigation of cell response modulation to key growth factors in pluripotent stem cells
FGF, Wnt, Nodal and BMP signalling pathways are important regulators of cell differentiation in an embryo, but their stage-specific effects in early differentiation are poorly understood. Investigation of these effects is one of the priorities of Lowell group. This project was aimed to test the usefulness of a recently acquired Operetta high throughput imaging platform for efficient single cell level quantitation of stem cell responsiveness to growth factors during early lineage commitment.
Investigation of the intrinsic factors that regulate neural commitment in the epiblast: Notch signalling pathway
Notch signaling pathway activation or inhibition modulates neural versus mesodermal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells by a so far unknown mechanism. This project aimed to investigate whether this modulation take place during a post-implantation stage of an embryo and whether we can identify downstream targets of Notch signaling that affect cell the fate choice during this stage.
As BSc (Hons) student in Dr Eric Schirmer’s research group, University of Edinburgh
Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, 2014
Potential function of chromosome periphery proteins in blocking early nuclear envelope transmembrane protein binding to mitotic chromosomes in nuclear envelope assembly (in collaboration with Dr William Earnshaw’s research group, WTCCB)
The loss of a chromosome periphery protein cPERP D (DDX18) results in nuclear envelope shape abnormalities. The aim of this project was to investigate whether this and other chromosome periphery proteins might function in nuclear envelope reassembly after mitosis by interacting with known nuclear envelope transmembrane proteins.
Meinke P, Makarov AA, Lê Thành P, Sadurska D, Schirmer EC (2015) Nucleoskeleton dynamics and functions in health and disease. Cell health and cytoskeleton 7: 55-69