Supervisors: Dr Bettina Wilm, Dr Jonathan Coxhead and Dr Patricia Murray
I studied Anatomy and Human biology at Liverpool University and gained a real interest in the link between cellular processes and pathophysiologyl. During My honour project, I also developed an enjoyment for academic research.After my undergraduate degree I studied an MRes in Biomedical science, again at Liverpool University. During this I focused on the developmental contribution of mesothelial cells, a really interesting project which bolstered my desire to undertake a PhD. Fortunately, there was BBSRC-funded opportunity with my master’s supervisor investigating the physiological differences between mesothelial cells with differential expression of the key mesothelial marker gene, Wt1. Furthermore; the fact that this was a CASE studentship meant I would spend time at an industrial partner. I am currently thoroughly enjoying my research and am thankful for the opportunity.
Project Title: Applications in tissue: Analysing the different characteristics of mesothelial cells
We are interested in the process of Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), with a particular focus on EMT in mesothelial cells. This is a fundamental process during development of the viscera and during the metastatic stages of cancer. Mesothelial cells contribute to the development of numerous organs by completing EMT during gestation, mesothelial pathophysiology, such a peritonitis, is also the result of mesothelial EMT. Wt1 is a gene commonly used a marker of mesothelial cell phenotype; however we have found not all mesothelial cells express Wt1. Since Wt1 is crucial for the regulation of EMT, we aim to investigate the differences in physiology of mesothelial cells with and without Wt1 as it may give insight into the role of Wt1 during mesothelial cells pathology. We aim to collaborate with Biomer LTD to design biomaterials that may be able to influence the behaviour of mesothelial cells for possible therapeutic applications.
I have presented my work at the international conference of Wt1 biology in Nice. Furthermore I have undertaken a course to learn more about the programming language ‘R’.