About PhD Research

When it comes to science, and particularly molecular biology, I have always wanted to know find out more. This desire encouraged me to pursue my PhD research after graduating from University of Bath in Molecular & Cellular Biology.

It was only during the final year of my undergraduate degree that I was really introduced to stem cells and their potential fully. It was this new field as well as a passion for understanding the inner workings of cells that drew me to my PhD research project. I joined the Houghton lab at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton to perform the research for my PhD thesis title ‘Mechanisms regulating stem cell self-renewal’. I passed my viva and was awarded my PhD in December 2018.

Alongside my doctoral research, I was privileged enough to mentor several other clinical and non-clinical students in the lab at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Mechanisms regulating stem cell self-renewal

One of the main areas of research in the Houghton lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms which regulate different types of stem cells. My primary focus was working with embryonic stem cells, and trying to understand how lox oxygen conditions and the metabolic pathway glycolysis helped them to maintain their identity as pluripotent cells. My research specifically focussed on how a group of proteins called C-terminal binding proteins were involved in translating any changes in stem cell identity as a result of changes to oxygen or metabolism. I also pursued investigating this in embryonal carcinoma cells – the cancerous equivalent of embryonic stem cells, in order to compare the mechanisms.

You can read more about my research in my publication here. Alternatively, you can watch this short video below.

This video is actually the script from the 3 Minute Thesis competition I entered in 2016 that made me realise how much I loved science communication, but hopefully it will give you a quick overview of my research. This script is responsible for the pivot in my career. It is also the first attempt I ever did at science communication so it is probably about time that I updated it now we are in 2020. The script for the video can be found here. If you enjoy this video, do let me know. I am looking to share more short video clips about my research publication and thesis findings here soon…