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Melanie Dunstan is a Research Fellow based in the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (NDORMS) and Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine. She discusses her experience of working with Celgene.

What is your research background

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My background is in the genetics and molecular biology of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  A growing interest in immunology brought me to the Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory in Oxford, where I work as a post-doctoral researcher focusing on the role of tissue resident T cells in autoimmune diseases.

What are you researching now?

I am currently collecting blood and gut biopsies from children undergoing diagnostic endoscopies and using single cell genomics to identify subsets of T cells which may be novel therapeutic targets.

What has your experience of this Fellowship been like?

I was awarded an Oxford-Celgene fellowship in March 2018 and, having very little experience of industry, was unsure about what to expect.  Meeting with my Celgene mentor soon put me at ease, and  regular contact with them keeps me focused and excited about the project.  The Oxford-Celgene fellowship has allowed me to combine pure research with the field of commercial drug discovery and will provide a platform from which to translate exciting research into clinical practice.

What has been the highlight of the Fellowship so far?

The highlight of the fellowship so far has been attending a workshop run by Celgene and an industry sponsored summit in Boston. 

WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR RESEARCHERS TO ENGAGE WITH INDUSTRY?

I would recommend the Oxford-Celgene fellowship to any potential applicants; the relationship with industry has been invaluable so far in my work and has allowed me to undertake experiments which would not be possible within a purely academic environment.

 

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