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Appointment
  • Reader in Gene Transfer Technology
  • Maternal & Fetal Medicine
  • Inst for Women's Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Role
Director
Research Summary

I am Joint Acting Director of the Institute for Women’s Health and also lead a team which is focused upon preclinical models of gene and stem cell transfer, particularly for perinatal gene delivery for early onset, debilitating and often lethal diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, inherited epilepsy and metabolic diseases. For Dravet Syndrome we recently obtained funding from the UK Medical Research Council Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme. We have obtained project grant funding for neuronopathic Gaucher Disease and, led by Dr Ahad Rahim, Niemann Pick Type C at UCL School of Pharmacy. 

In a parallel research stream, we have developed an application of gene transfer, with Prof Tristan McKay, whereby signalling pathways in diseased organs and tumours can be quantified continually and non-invasively. This was funded, primarily, through a European Research Council Starting Grant. From this work we filed two patents through University College London.

In collaboration with Professors Andy Baker and John McVey we elucidated one of the fundamental mechanisms by which adenovirus vectors transduce cells and published this work in Cell journal. My team and I have published more than one hundred peer reviewed publications and reviews in journals including Nature Immunology, Cell Metabolism and Blood. 

The expertise of my team and I in mouse models of perinatal intervention has enabled us to maintain excellent collaborations in areas such as preterm labour and perinatal brain injury, with Professors Donald Peebles, Mark Johnson and Phil Bennet. We have several long-standing international collaborations. These include Drs Jerry Chan and Citra Mattar, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore and Prof Patrick Arbuthnot, at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, where I hold an honorary position.

Academic Background
1992 MSc Master of Science – Biology and Computer Science  
1991 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Biology University of York
  PGCLTHE Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education – Biomedical Sciences  
1999 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Biomedical Science  
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