I completed my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at Lancaster University in 2020. Following my undergraduate degree I took a year out of academia working as a lab technician in a Bioassay team completing mostly routine sample testing and tissue culture work along with some method development and optimisation work on molecular biology based projects. This was great industry experience and really wanted to further my research skills and knowledge of molecular biology and so I applied to the MSc in Molecular Medicine at The University of Sheffield. My project during this year involved engineering SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to increase expression. This sparked my interest in how protein structures can be manipulated to alter their characteristics which, combined with my interest in new technologies, led me to apply for this project.
My PhD is under the supervision of Dr Cyril Sanders at The University of Sheffield, and in collaboration with Oxford Nanopore Technologies who have developed real-time, long-read nanopore sequencing methods. The lab I am based in conducts research based on helicases which are enzymes that use ATP to unwind and translocate DNA during DNA replication. Due to their structure and function, it is possible that helicases may be suitable candidates as nanopores in nanopore sequencing devices. My project will explore how helicases can be engineered to make them more suitable for use as nanopores in nanopore sequencing devices.