Research background: I completed a 3 year Master’s degree by dissertation at the University of the Free State in South Africa. I specialised in Forensic Genetics and my research focused on the use of Y-STRs in the investigation of sexual assault cases in South Africa. Despite having a degree in a different scientific field, it was my love of molecular biology and research – and the desire to do both abroad – that lead me to applying to be a part of Professor Holm Uhlig’s group. I am currently working as a research assistant with Professor Holm Uhlig in the Translational Gastroenterology Unit in the Nuffield Department of Medicine.
Researching now: I am now a research assistant in Professor Holm Uhlig’s lab, working specifically on the CARTOGRAPHY project. The aim of this project is to create a cellular, molecular and genetic roadmap for immune-mediated inflammatory disorders across organ systems, looking specifically at gastroenterology, dermatology, and rheumatology. The goal is to construct a cross-disease and cross-tissue cell atlas of diseased tissue prioritizing disorders and patient subgroups with the need to escalate current therapies. As the research assistant, my job is to coordinate and assist with the research happening across these three workstreams. However, I am primarily based in the gastroenterology department so I am more involved with the sample collection and processing for this workstream, with a focus on UC, Crohn’s and Coeliac disease.