Charlotte Rich-Griffin is an Oxford-Janssen Fellow working in the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics. Here she discusses her experience and aspirations for the future of her research.
What is your research background?
The core theme of my research to date has been “single-cell omics”. My PhD research involved one of the first attempts applying single cell technologies to plants (Arabidopsis thaliana) in order to investigate plant immunity at a single cell level. After my PhD, I moved to Oxford and made the jump into human immunology researching cancer-specific T cells with Tao Dong and Hashem Koohy. My work focused on integrating TCR repertoire information with gene expression in order to identify cancer specific subsets of T cells. Since joining the Dendrou group in early 2020, I have been analysing single cell experiments to understand how immune cell composition and function can be resolved at the single-cell level in primary human tissues to help inform therapeutic strategies. I has been involved in projects Multiple Sclerosis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I am also heavily involved in the COVID-19 Multi-modal Blood ATlas (COMBAT) project which aimed to understand the heterogeneity of COVID responses using a PBMC blood atlas from patients with different severities of COVID-19.
What are you researching now?
The theme of single cell analysis of immune mediated inflammatory disorders (IMIDs) will be continued in my work as one of the Oxford-Janssen fellows on the Cartography project. We will use cutting-edge single cell techniques create a cross-disease, cross-tissue cell atlas of IMIDs. As a computational biologist, I will be focussed on analysing and interpreting the data from the multi-modal single cell assays.
What are your aspirations for the future of this research?
Cartography will create a cross-disease, cross-tissue cell atlas of IMIDs combining multi-omic single-cell analysis, functional studies and clinical phenotyping across multiple IMIDs (gastroenterology, dermatology, rheumatology). This atlas will be then used to inform potential drug targets in collaboration with Janssen.