I graduated from University of Glasgow with a BSc in Infection Biology in 2012. I went on and obtained an MSc in Biomedical Sciences from Sheffield Hallam University in 2014. During the research project, I participated in determining the binding mechanism of chlorotoxin to glioma cells. I optimized the primary and secondary antibody concentrations of Annexin2 and Matrix metalloproteinase-2, which is a putative membrane receptor of chlorotoxin, for their detection in mouse tissue using Western blots.
PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science, due for completion in September 2019
School Research Theme:
Animal Infection and Immunity
Development of improved serological assays for detection of antibodies to emerging flaviviruses
Summary of Research:
Diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and West Nile virus (WNV) mostly depends on serological assays. Among current detection methods, ELISA is more rapid but less sensitive and has cross-reactivity issues. Using non-cross reactive epitopes or using site-directed mutagenesis could help modifying the ELISA method. Those antigens can be rapidly produced in plants as well as their antibodies. In addition, plant-produced reagents could also enable the autologous red blood cell (RBC) agglutination assay to be developed into a feasible test. However, the production of recombinant agglutination reagent still needs optimization. The aim of this research is to develop improved serological assays for detection of antibodies to viruses of the Japanese encephalitis virus serocomplex and also the emerging Zika virus from the same flavivirus family. Rapid detection of the viruses is essential for prediction and prevention of largescale epidemics.
Primary Funding Source:
Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship for Research Excellence (International)