I completed a MA in Biological sciences at Magdalen College, Oxford. I then went on to do an MSc in Systems biology at the University of Warwick. I completed my PhD early in 2016 as a collaboration between LSTM and Warwick, working on novel mechanisms for insecticide resistance; this involved both extensive bioinformatics and lab work. I then did an 18-month post-doc in the Ranson group, continuing work from my PhD.
Skills Development Fellowship: ‘Integrating data from multiple African countries to identify and validate novel insecticide resistance candidates in the malaria vector An. gambiae sl’
1. Integration of multi-country transcriptomic data
By utilising the vast library of transcriptomic data currently available comparing resistant and susceptible I discovered a role in pyrethroid resistance for three new gene families and produced an open source ShinyR application to allow all users to access this data. The application is currently hosted by LSTM here: https://www.lstmed.ac.uk/projects/ir-tex
2. Study of novel insecticide resistance mechanisms in the major malaria vector Anopheles gambiae
By using a combination of whole genome sequence data and RNAseq I am exploring the loss of resistance in a previously highly resistance Anopheles strain from Burkina Faso; this is a unique dataset due to the reversion to susceptibility and subsequent re-selection of the same colony.
3. Transcriptional control of response to insecticides in a multi-resistant population
By using transcriptomic time series data generated on both an exposed and unexposed highly resistant Anopheles population, I am able to explore underlying transcriptional changes in response to pyrethroid insecticides, in addition to changes induced by both aging and circadian pattern. By collaborating with Dr Frank Dondelinger at University of Lancaster, we are able to apply Bayesian Directed Networks to this data to predict transcriptional control of transcript clusters following the same expression pattern changes.
MRC Confidence in Concept Award: ‘A pipeline to evaluate the impact of current and new insecticides and drugs on malaria development in insecticide resistant mosquitoes’
I am working alongside the University of Liverpool and other members of LSTM in both Vector Biology and Tropical Disease Biology to set up a high throughput Plasmodium infection system, allowing us to infect our mosquitoes with gametocytes and screen chemistries used in vector control to discern their effect on malaria development within the mosquito.