From 2012-2016, I completed my PhD in the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology at the University of Leicester, under the supervision of Professor Yuri Dubrova and in collaboration with Dr Sienkiewicz at Public Health England’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards. Given discrepancies in mutagenic data and widespread public concern over genotoxic effects of extremely-low frequency magnetic fields, for my PhD, I studied the effects of extremely-low frequency magnetic fields on mutation induction in mice. Here, I utilised a hypervariable expanded simple tandem repeat (ESTR) region of the mouse genome as a highly sensitive biomarker of mutation induction to provide an in-depth in vivo analysis of potential molecular changes induced by 50 Hz extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) at levels mimicking our daily exposure (up to 300 μT).
Thereafter, for 18 months, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Keele University, in collaboration with Professor Chris Schofield’s laboratory at the University of Oxford’s Chemistry Research Laboratory. During this post, I analysed a novel class of small molecule hypoxia inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase (HIF-PHD) inhibitors for neuroprotection in an in vitro ischaemic stroke model.
My current project involves the quantitative analysis of hypoxia induced signalling. Low oxygen tensions (hypoxia) have the ability of altering almost all aspects of gene expression, from chromatin, transcription, translation and post-translational mechanisms. In addition, low oxygen alters a vast number of cellular processes including the cell cycle. My role as postdoctoral research associate is to investigate the interplay between the cell cycle and the oxygen sensing enzymes (PHDs), focusing on renal cells and renal cancer.