I studied Natural Sciences at Christ's College, University of Cambridge, gaining MSci and BA Hons degrees. During my four years undergraduate study, I took courses in Mathematics, Physiology, Cell and Developmental Biology and Biochemistry before specialising in Chemistry, particularly Organic and Biological Chemistry. I am currently a student on the EPSRC MRC SABS CDT at the University of Oxford and I look forward to beginning research in the field of Medicinal Chemistry.
My Master’s research project in the Paterson group investigated a novel desymmetrising aldol reaction. The stereoselectivity of the reaction arose from the inherent facial preference of meso-dialdehydes containing defined alpha-stereocentres. The main challenge of the project became the synthesis of meso-dialdehydes, containing three to five defined stereocentres, since these molecules are inherently intractable. The ultimate aim was to employ the methodology to the asymmetric total synthesis of polyketide natural products, which often have antimicrobial and anti-tumour activities.
8 week summer project 2014: I gained practical research experience in synthetic organic chemistry with the Harrowven group at the University of Southampton, where I prepared precursors for the total synthesis of RP-66453. This natural product is of particular interest because of its activity as a neurotensin receptor antagonist, which may be effective in treating conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The project work involved a synthetic sequence of 10 linear steps and the preparation of a cinchona alkaloid based phase transfer catalyst on scale.
8 week summer project 2013: Biochemical Society funded summer vacation studentship (Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science, Portsmouth University). I investigated the regulation of virulence genes in cholera bacteria through sRNA-protein interactions of E. coli homologues, in order to reduce the symptoms of infection.
8 week summer project 2013: as an Amgen funded Scholar in the Miska lab at the Gurdon Institute (University of Cambridge), I carried out a forward genetic screen using C. elegans as a model organism to search for anti-viral innate immunity genes. This placement finished with production of a research poster which was presented at the annual scholars’ symposium, giving me useful training in scientific communication.
Not for profit
I volunteered with CU Save the Children for four years, helping to raise over £5000 for the charity. Our achievement was recognised when we received the Uni Challenge prize in 2012-2013 for raising the most money.
Cambridge Hands-On Science (CHaOS) brings small scale demonstrations to schools and public events to enthuse kids about all things science. I participated in week-long roadshow events three years in a row.
I also took part in campaigns with Amnesty International, raising the profile of campaigns such as the release of Shaker Aamer and domestic violence against women.
Singing I have always enjoyed singing and joined choirs throughout school and university!
Badminton I played for my college team at Cambridge for four years, and eventually served as captain. Happily we enjoyed league success during this time, but none of the credit is due to me!
Novartis International Biotechnology Leadership Camp: I was selected as one of two students from over 150 applicants to represent the UK at the Novartis International Biocamp in Basel. There, I gained an insight into the pharmaceutical industry, and took part in a group project to present a financial case for venture capital investment in a hypothetical biotech spinoff with only 6 hours of preparation.