Professor Claire Eyers, Professor Sarah Coupland and Dr Richard Skinner
I am a mature student who returned to University from industry for this PhD course. My background has mainly focused on microbiology and molecular microbiology.
I completed an MRes at the University of Nottingham that focused on generating and characterising Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus with knockout mutations, to understand the regulation of secondary messengers within the Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus .
After my Masters, I stayed on as a research technician position where I worked towards sequencing and characterising a Bdellovibrio specific dwarf myovirus.
From there, I moved into industry where I spent 5 years working in quality control and R&D departments for a biological diagnostic company. This included the development of products that test for antibiotic susceptibility, for use in organisations such as the NHS and private hospitals, to aid in the identification cause of infection and deciding on effective treatments.
The research I am currently undertaking is part of the Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP) with Unilever.
My project involves investigating human sweat glands. Sweating is a vital function for thermoregulation of the body. The gland responsible for the generation and secretion of sweat in humans is the Eccrine Sweat Gland (ESG). The ESG is comprised of 3 regions: the secretary, the lumen and the Acrosyringium.
Minimal research has been performed on the Acrosyringium compared to the other two regions of the ESG. It is an important region as it is at the skins interface and interacts with the environment.
My project has so far focused on the development of a method for the extraction and analysis of protein from extremely small volumes of formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) skin tissue samples. The protein from the extracted tissue is analysed using LC-MS/MS to characterise the Acrosyringium proteome. Commercially available products and methods for protein extraction from FFPE tissue would require the harvesting of approximately 12,000 Acrosyringium section per LC-MS/MS run which is not feasible, so I am developing methods that will work with much smaller amounts of material. The method that I am developing will mean that it will be possible to analyse the Acrosyringium proteome from much smaller volumes of tissue samples, without the complicating factor of co-analysing surrounding tissue.