Institute: Loughborough University/ University of Nottingham
I graduated from Keele University with a Bachelor's degree in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry and Biology. Following my degree I remained at Keele and went on the complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. I obtained my Qualified Teacher status at Thomas Alleyes High School in Uttoxeter where I taught pupils aged 13-18 biology, chemistry, physics and rural science. Following teaching I was a successful applicant to the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre scheme which is a 4 year multidisciplinary programme that allowed me to utilise both my biological & chemistry background. I completed my PhD at the Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University; my project was focussed on the development and characterisation of human corneal stromal models. In particular, I investigated the influence of chemical, topographical and cellular cues in order to more closely mimic the in vivo environment with the aim to restore cultured corneal stromal cells to their native cell lineage.
During my E-TERM fellowship I remained in the field of corneal tissue engineering with the aim to develop a functional corneal replacement by utilising corneas deemed unsuitable for transplantation. I anticipate that the construct may be utilised for both in vitro toxicity testing & as an effective substitute for transplantation.
Most recently I became involved on a Loughborough-led Traumatic Brain Injury Pilot project in collaboration with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham. The project aim is to scope a programme of work and a subsequent proposal on the opportunities to improve and apply technologies from stroke rehabilitation and other areas to the rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury, taking into account defence specific issues including blast. My current role is concerned with determining the clinical needs and requirements related to military traumatic brain injury; identifying technology opportunities driven by the clinical requirements and the opportunities to transfer technology from adjacent fields; and identifying research and development requirements for these opportunities both technological and scientific, and to permit adoption. A strong underlying focus is establishing areas of work in traumatic brain injury which will allow for the transfer of medical innovations from military and civilian settings.
Effects of 3D culture environments on cellular behaviour, remodelling and differentiation; challenges associated with the characterisation, manufacturing and scale-up of corneal biomimetic tissues; in vitro corneal toxicity modelling, traumatic brain injury modelling, definition and rehabilitation.
3D in vitro tissue modelling and characterisation
Tissue (corneal) dissection/decellularisation protocols and analysis
Cell differentiation using chemical, topographical and cellular cues