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Thomas is a Clinical Research Fellow in The Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences. He discusses his research, and experience of the Oxford-Celgene Fellowship.

 

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What is your research background?

My first exposure to basic science research was during my anatomical sciences BSc degree at the University of Manchester. During this year I was introduced to many practical laboratory techniques and my thesis aimed to explore potential neuroendocrine markers of small cell lung cancer. I was fortunate to work in a great lab and this experience confirmed that I wanted to pursue an academic career with a focus on cell and molecular biology. Therefore after completing my medical degree, also in Manchester, I obtained a clinical research fellowship to read for a DPhil in molecular medicine at the University of Oxford. I am now based in NDORMS.

What are you researching now?

My research aims to investigate the presence and extent of stromal cell heterogeneity in fibrosis. Fibrosis, or scarring, is common pathological process and is responsible for a number of human conditions and yet at present we still lack any truly effective targeted therapeutics. My work utilizes single cell technologies to undertake detailed phenotyping of primary human fibrotic tissue in the hope of identifying potential disease biomarkers or novel therapeutic targets.

WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THIS FELLOWSHIP BEEN LIKE?

I have enjoyed my fellowship so far and feel fortunate to be part of such a welcoming and exciting group at Oxford. My thesis has a broad biological question and as such I have learnt a number of techniques that span multiple disciplines. One special aspect of my fellowship has been the opportunity to work in Celgene labs in San Francisco and San Diego. These experiences have been an amazing learning opportunity, but also enabled me to experience how basic science research is conducted in a pharmaceutical setting.

One special aspect of my fellowship has been the opportunity to work in Celgene labs in San Francisco and San Diego.

What are your aspirations for the future of your research?

I hope to continue my academic career after obtaining my DPhil and will return to my surgical training after this fellowship. Oxford offers many postdoctoral research opportunities and I hope stay here to continue basic science research alongside my clinical training. During my fellowship one area I have enjoyed is computational biology and this will form a strong focus of my future career aspirations. 

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