Sonali Munshaw (2018-2021)
Project: Thymosin β4 – A novel regulator of Low density lipoprotein receptor related protein 1(LRP1) in vascular disease
Supervisors: Dr Nicola Smart and Prof Paul Riley
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.
My doctoral research involves exploring the therapeutic potential of Thymosin β4 in aortic diseases including atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysm and its role in regulating the extracellular matrix to protect the vasculature.
As an MRC student, I have had an opportunity to present my work both within the UK and abroad. I was shortlisted as a finalist for the British Cardiovascular Society Young Investigator Award 2019 and received the runner up award. Having a young family, it would have been difficult to fund my education. The DPhil funding provided by MRC has given me an opportunity to pursue graduate study and achieve my academic goal.