In July 2018 I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a first class integrated masters degree in Chemistry with Biological and Medicinal Chemistry. I did my Masters’ project in Professor Chen’s lab. This involved developing a drug screening assay to find protein interaction inhibitors between amyloid-beta oligomers and cellular prion protein for the potential use in Alzheimer’s disease. I grew up in Cornwall, taking part in the traditional pastime of playing in a brass band. I began learning at the age of five and began playing the tuba at the age of eight. I have been lucky enough to play at the Royal Albert Hall twice; once during my time with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
I started my PhD in October 2018 with Dr Alison Twelvetrees in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield. I study the activation of the molecular motor kinesin-1. This is the major anterograde motor protein and mutations in this protein have been associated with many neuronal diseases; such as motor neuron disease (MND). To prevent unnecessary hydrolysis of ATP and the accumulation of kinesin-1 at the distal end of the axon, kinesin-1 is autoinhibited. Little is known about the minimum requirements for activation of kinesin-1 allowing it to carry cargo along the length of the axon. My project aims to study the activation dynamics at the single-molecule level using single-molecule fluorescence energy transfer (smFRET). This project is in collaboration with Dr. Timothy Craggs at the University of Sheffield and Professor Michelle Peckham at the University of Leeds.