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Xin Hui Chan (2016-2020)Xin Hui Chan speaking into a microphone

Project: The Cardiovascular Toxicity of Antimalarial Drugs

Supervisor: Prof Nick White, Prof Nick Day, and Prof Brian Angus

Lab team

 My first experience of malaria was while volunteering in rural Kenya as a first-year medical student. The teenagers at the school we surveyed were familiar with the disease and how to prevent it, but when the rains came, still their younger siblings died one after the other. It didn’t seem right to me that an eminently curable disease like malaria should be allowed to kill so many. Read More


Jan Cosgrave (2013-2017)Jan Cosgrave smiling

Project: Unravelling the links between psychotic-like experiences, sleep and circadian rhythms

Supervisor: Dr. Katharina Wulff

Lab Team

 I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2012 with an MA in Psychology. During my studies, I specialised in sleep and circadian rhythms and was awarded a Student Research Award by British Psychological Society. After spending some time travelling and working abroad, I started my DPhil at St. John’s College in the University of Oxford in 2013. I was awarded an interdepartmental scholarship jointly supported by the Medical Research Council and St. John’s College. I sought to understand how sleep and circadian rhythms might relate to psychotic experiences. My doctoral studies used an array of biometrics (including EEG, actigraphy, melatonin and cortisol sampling) alongside psychological phenotyping to understand how chronobiology and psychotic experiences may impact one another. Read More 


Andrew Harper (2017-2020)Andrew Harper smiling in front of green outdoor scenery

Project: The genetic architecture of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Supervisor: Prof Hugh Watkins, Prof Martin Farrall and Dr. Anuj Goel

Lab team

Having completed a Masters in Medical Genetics during medical school, my clinical approach as a physician has always been focussed on trying to better understand the root cause of disease. Experience working as part of a clinical team delivering care to patients, and their families, with inherited cardiac conditions highlighted to me how critical this philosophy was. Knowing which specific genetic variant was causal of disease was a cornerstone in the delivery of care, as it provided actionable information that facilitated screening and risk stratification. But unfortunately, all too often, a variant was not identifiable. This was particularly true for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a relatively common genetic condition that affects ~1/500 individuals and remains a leading cause of sudden death, embolic stroke and heart failure in early and mid-adult life. Read more about Andrew


Egon Jacobus (2014-2018) 

Egon Jacobus in black and white picture

Project: The dual influence of tumour hypoxia on the activity of a group B oncolytic adenovirus

Supervisor: Prof. Len Seymour

Lab Team

I graduated from the University of Braunschweig (Germany) as a biotechnologist, where I majored in applied animal cell biology. My undergraduate thesis project at the Max-Delbrück Centre in Berlin motivated me to pursue a career in molecular medicine. I then decided to focus on the interdisciplinary field of cancer, due to the opportunity to conduct impactful translational research. I joined the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) in Heidelberg for my master’s, which was a stepping-stone to gain experience through laboratory placements, namely in oncolytic virotherapy at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (Canada) and in gene and cell therapy at the Mayo Clinic (USA). Read more


Cristiana Vagnoni (2015-2020) Cristiana at an event

Project: Characterisation of VIP+ interneurons in the mouse whisker barrel cortex during development

Supervisors: Prof Simon Butt and Prof Zoltán Molnár

Lab Team: Butt

Lab Team: Molnár

After a BSc in Biotechnology from the University of Turin, I graduated from the same institution in 2014 with an MSc in Molecular Biotechnology. My thesis, supervised by Prof. Ferdinando Di Cunto, focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying microcephaly using in vitro systems. During my studies, I was awarded a Giovanni Armenise Harvard Summer fellowship, which gave me the opportunity to visit the lab of Prof. Christopher Walsh (Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School) and study in vivo models of microcephaly. These experiences deepened my interest in neuroscience and brought me to Oxford, where I was awarded a Clarendon Fund and Christ Church Joint Award in conjunction with the Medical Research Council and a Schorstein Research Fellowship to study for the MSc in Neuroscience followed by the DPhil in Neuroscience. During my MSc, I worked on dopamine dynamics with Dr Mark Walton and Dr Elizabeth Tunbridge and on the characterization of circuit development in a mouse model of autism with Prof. Simon Butt. Read more


Isabell von Loga (2015-2019) Isabell von Loga holding a trophy

Project: Molecular pathogensis of pain in osteoarthritis

Supervisor: Prof Tonia Vincent

Lab Team

Before Oxford, I completed two different degrees. First a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University in the US, and subsequently medicine at Imperial College London in the UK. During my time at Princeton, I was a 4-year varsity athlete in track and field alongside my degree. My first research focus was in addiction behaviours, with my subsequent research in cognitive neuroscience, using fMRI to map out parietal cortex in visual perception. After completing my undergraduate degree, I joined the graduate entry medicine course at Imperial, graduating in 2015. During my medical degree, I was especially interested in the field of rheumatology, leading me to pursue an academic clinical career in this field. Having met Prof Tonia Vincent as a clinical student at Imperial, I decided to apply for the PhD programme at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in order to extend my academic interests and to join Prof Vincent’s research group. Read more

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