The unknown, the microscopic and the pathogenic... these things are of such interest to me. Luckily for me I have a Postdoc position in Professor Wendy Barclay's Influenza Group, which allows me to investigate the unknowns of the influenza life cycle; how it jumps from its natural reservoir, the birds, into the human population; discovering the virus mutations necessary for successful infection and efficient onward transmission; and putting the knowledge gained into perspective in order to encourage future research and potential treatments.
Currently my role in the research group focuses on the influenza polymerase (the viral machine used to copy its genome) and why it is necessary for avian origin flu viruses to mutate in order to infect human hosts. This project is part of a large consortium called DRREVIP (http://avianvirusresearch.org/drrevip-public/) funded by BBSRC.
Before my current position I completed a joint PhD project between Imperial and the Animal and Plant Health Agency, investigating the likelihood of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu viruses obtaining mutations necessary for infection of humans. Previous to this I had graduated from University College London, reading Biology, before a years experience in Pharma which led me to completing an MSc of Virology at Imperial College.
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