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Personal profile

Summary

I am a Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences.

My broad research interests include drug repurposing, musculoskeletal research and the development of novel biomimetic materials.

My current research is into drug repurposing for the treatment of Ewing's sarcoma.

Other projects I have undertaken while at Portsmouth include investigating the underlying mechanisms of soft tissue mineralisation in response to chronic inflammation, and the devlopment of bioinspired composite materials.

Biography

I graduated from the University of Bath in 2005 with a BSc in Applied Biology, which included a professional training placement in the Experimental and Regenerative Neurosciences group at the University of Western Australia. My final year project in the Cell and Developmental Biology Research Group in Bath was on transdifferentiation of pancreatic buds to liver tissue. I then worked as a technician at UCL then as a Senior Technician at the RVC between 2005 and 2006.

In 2007, I began my PhD at the University of Sheffield where I specialised in mechanically stimulated purinergic signalling between osteoblasts (doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.11.036). I remained in Sheffield for two postdoctoral positions. The first was a priming project to validate a new model for investigation of the effects of inducible tumour associated macrophage depletion in a breast cancer (doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0188591). The second was to investigate the role of tumour secreted lysyl oxidase in mediating lesion formation in bone, which was published in Nature (doi.org/10.1038/nature14492).

In 2015, I moved to the Bone and Joint Group at the University of Southampton to work on a UK Regenerative Medicines Platform Acellular Hub funded project to investigate the effects of VEGF RNA and protein delivery upon osteogenesis and angiogenesis within bone (doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53249-4).

I joined the University of Portsmouth in 2017. Initially, this was on an interdisciplinary research project between the Schools of Engineering, Pharmacy and Biological Science to develop a biomimetic of strongest composite biomaterial in nature. Since then, I have been awared funding to invetigate soft tissue calcfication in response to inflammation, and funding to test whether a set of drugs can be repurposed for the potential treatment of Ewing's sarcoma.

Research Interests

My research interests include biomineralisation, bone cancers (primary and secondary), cell biology, cell signalling, developmental biology,  drug repurposing, inflammation, musculoskeletal disorders, pharmacovigilance, pre-clinical research, regenerative medicine and synthetic biology.

From 2017, I investigated the teeth of the common limpet (Patella vulgata) which are formed from the strongest known biologically occurring material.

From November 2019, I investigated the role of a specific receptor in modulating soft tissue calcification following blunt trauma. This work has been funded by a grant recently awarded by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).

In February 2021 I began a project funded by the Children's Cancer and Leukemia Group (CCLG) and Little Princess Trust (LPT) to investigate whether a set of drugs could be repurposed to modulate signalling between Ewing's sarcoma cells and immune cells in a manner that might reduce the progression of this specific cancer.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., University of Sheffield

Feb 2007Sep 2010

Award Date: 1 Feb 2011

BSc (Hons)

Sep 2001Jun 2005

Award Date: 15 Jul 2005

External positions

Visiting Researcher, University of Southampton

Feb 2017 → …

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southampton

Aug 2015Feb 2017

Post Doctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield

Mar 2011Aug 2015

Research Associate

Sep 2010Dec 2010

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