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Eboni Bucknor (2017 – 2021)Eboni Bucknor smiling

Project: Analysing the function and dysfunction of TLDc proteins in neurological diseases

Supervisors: Associate Professor Peter Oliver and Associate Professor Simon Butt

Lab team

In 2017, I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Genetics. During my studies, I developed a strong interest in molecular mechanisms underpinning human disease, leading me to undertake my DPhil at the MRC Harwell Institute (Mammalian Genetics Unit) in the Molecular Neurobiology group.

My current research project aims to discover underlying neuropathological mechanisms of disease onset when mutations occur in members of the TLDc protein family, a group of proteins suggested to play a role in the neuronal cell response to oxidative stress. Read more about Eboni


Albert Prats Uribe (2018 – 2021) Albert Prats Uribe smiling

Project: Methods for observational risk-benefit studies of medical devices: an analysis of big data and simulation studies.

Supervisors:  Prof. Daniel Prieto Alhambra, Prof. Gary Stephen Collins, Dr.Mohammed Sanni Ali, Dr. Victoria Yuchun Strauss

Lab team 

After completing my Medicine degree, I worked both in the field and in research in Epidemiology and Public Health for 5 years, across a vast range of topics, and completed a specialisation and Master’s in Public Health. These experiences highlighted the importance of methodology and statistics: understanding what questions a certain design can answer and the pros, cons and sources of bias of each statistical technique and design. To further strengthen these methodological skills, I pursued a DPhil with Prof. Prieto-Alhambra.

Studying in Oxford has been a profoundly enriching experience. My DPhil is focused on how to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of procedures and medical devices: I work testing, adapting and developing novel methodologies both with clinical use cases and simulation studies. From this work I have been able to validate new methodologies to mirror clinical trials. Read more about Albert


Anna Kordala (2017-2021)Anna Kordala

Project:  Identifying epigenetic modifiers of survival motor neuron protein using small molecules

Supervisors: Dr Suzan Hammond and Prof Matthew Wood

 Lab team

I began my career with a masters degree in Pharmacy (Medical University of Lodz, Poland). During my masters, I had my first experience of lab work during a placement at the University of Chicago (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics), where I studied  mistranslation in mammalian cells. Later, I returned to Poland and worked in clinical trials management. In 2016, I moved to Oxford, initially as a Research Assistant in Prof Wood's group, and later as a DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Suzan Hammond. My current research focus is spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which is the main genetic cause of infant mortality. Read more about Anna 


Sonali Munshaw (2018-2021)Sonali Munshaw smiling

Project: Thymosin β4 – A novel regulator of Low density lipoprotein receptor related protein 1(LRP1) in vascular disease

Supervisor: Dr Nicola Smart and Prof Paul Riley

Lab Team

I completed an MSc in Biochemistry from the University of Madras, India, ranked 2nd at the University. I joined as a research assistant at the Experimental Radiation Therapeutic Group at the University of Oxford to study radiopharmaceutical treatment of Breast Cancer. I subsequently joined Nicola Smarts’ Group at Department Of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics at University Of Oxford where I had an opportunity to explore the fields of Cardiac Regeneration and Vascular Protection. My increasing interest in the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease really motivated me to apply for DPhil under the supervision of Dr Nicola Smart and Prof Paul Riley. I was awarded a prestigious MRC studentship and in 2018, I commenced a 3-Year Non-Clinical MRC PhD Studentship at the University of Oxford. Read more about Sonali



Carla Christianne Schmidt (2018-2021) Carla Schmidt

Project: Investigations on pre- and postsynaptic plasticity

Supervisor: Prof Nigel Emptage

 Lab team

 I graduated from Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, with a BSc and MSc in Molecular Medicine. As a research assistant at the Universtätsklinikum Erlangen, I was able to gain significant lab experience and particularly in the fields of immunology and genetics. However, I was always primarily interested in neuroscience. My research projects during my early studies focused on investigating synaptic plasticity within the brain. As part of my Master’s degree, I came to Oxford for an internship in Prof Emptage’s lab (Department of Pharmacology) where I investigated presynaptic NMDA receptors and their role in synaptic plasticity. In 2018, I joined Prof Emptage’s lab as a DPhil student. I am using electrophysiology as well as in vitro and in vivo imaging to study synaptic transmission and plasticity. Read more about Carla


Matthew Ellis (2017-2020) Matthew Ellis smiling

Project:  Investigating the role of the IGF-1R in prostate cancer

Supervisor: Dr Valentine Macaulay 

Lab team

I graduated from King’s College London (KCL) with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry, where I became interested in cancer research during my research project. I was subsequently awarded funding to undertake summer research studentships at the University of Cambridge and the National Institute of Medical Research. I received a national scholarship to study an MRes in cancer biology at Imperial College London, working in the Gene Targeting laboratory of Dr Andrew Porter and at the Francis Crick Institute in the Apoptosis and Proliferation Control laboratory with Dr Nic Tapon. Read more about Matthew


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

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