Alan Mukuvare

MRC DTP PhD Candidate

2018 - BSc (Hons) Pharmacology, Nottingham Trent University
2019 - MSc Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nottingham
2020 - Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics, Makerere University
2022 - MRes Global Health: Translational and Quantitative Skills, Lancaster University
2022 - PhD Candidate in Infectious Diseases, LSTM

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work in industry at Charles River Laboratories, UK, as a drug discovery scientist. The work undertaken involved conducting biochemical assays to identify novel ion channel modulators. During this period, I developed a strong understanding of electrophysiology and the development of real-time kinetic cellular assays, having worked on multiple ion channels including: hERG, NaV1.x, K.v1.x and all four NMDA A-D subtypes. Additionally, through mentoring, I have been able to increase this knowledge and, my level of understanding of DMPK (Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacometrics), building on the principles developed in my early years.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and currently, I am on a journey to becoming a world renowned scientist. The foundations of my scientific knowledge were laid at Nottingham Trent University, where I graduated with a BSc (Hons) Pharmacology. It was during this period, I became enlightened about the challenges faced in developing countries, where diseases that should be easily curable and preventable still cause millions of deaths per year. Upon discovering this, an interest in drug design and development was birthed, leading to the successful completion of an MSc in Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences, from the University of Nottingham.

Currently, I am undertaking a PhD with the proposed title of "In vitro models of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection to study resistance acquisition and inform the selection of novel treatment strategies" in Professor Giancarlo Biagini's Group. The PhD will employ kinetic live-cell confocal imaging and flow cytometric methods to assess and characterise infection dynamics in the extracellular space and in appropriate human cell lines. There is a recognised need for more representative models of intracellular Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection and the overarching aim of this thesis is to develop novel in vitro models of gonococcal infection to help inform the selection of novel treatment strategies.