I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Biological Sciences with Honours Pharmacology. This was was followed by an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology, UCL, which I have recently finished. My research project this year focused on a newly identified hexanucleotide repeat expansion highly associated with motor neuron disease (MND) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Given the phenotypic and genetic overlap between MND, FTD and Parkinson’s, we wanted to see whether the newly identified mutation also rarely causes Parkinson’s disease. The project involved the screening of ~400 samples for the expansion, the results of which will be published in collaboration with the University of Sheffield.
I have carried out two other laboratory projects ranging from three to six months each. As a consequence of my input for one of the two projects, I have been chosen as co-author (paper submitted for publication). Laboratory experience includes DNA extraction and purification, whole genome profiling using microarrays, PCR, RT-PCR, western blotting, steroid extraction, ELISA. Further experience includes work with mice housed in metabolic cages and cell cultures.
Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their actions in the body. A drug is a chemical agent used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease. By studying normal cellular functioning and understanding what is altered under pathological conditions, it is possible to design drugs that target and modify specific components of the signalling cascades involved in disease. Drugs are designed to alter cellular behaviour in the aim of curing and preventing disease with minimal side effects. The concept of manipulating the body’s activity fascinates me.
To view pharmaceuticals as only the development of ‘pills’ is a misconception. The pharmaceutical industry includes not just ‘drugs’ (i.e. pills, chemicals) but also biotechnology and diagnostics. Chemistry, genetics, immunology, engineering, technology are all heavily implicated in the processes driving medicine further. Researchers, surgeons and prescribing physicians are not the only specialists involved: amongst others, regulating agencies, distributors and philanthropists are also integral. This blog will encompass topics from all sorts of areas within the pharmaceutical industry to provide an overview of its successes and future potential. The purpose of this blog is to share my enthusiasm, to motivate others to learn more and to discuss current advances, debates and issues in the field.
Pinterest I ♥ BIOLOGY Board
You will find a selection of images found online which I have found interesting, amusing, insightful on my Pinterest I ♥ BIOLOGY Board.
Pinterest NEUROCULTURE Board
Science in popular culture on my Pinterest Neuroculture Board.
Drug Endorsement: making people sick in the quest for good health?
Adverts endorsing medications on my Pinterest Drug Endorsement Board.