Sara Bonvini is a postgraduate research student in the Respiratory Pharmacology group within the National Heart and Lung Institute.
Prior to commencing her PhD, Sara completed a B.Sc. in Physiology at the University of Liverpool in 2008, where she was awarded the departmental prize for best project for her undergraduate research project. After completion of her degree Sara worked as a Research Technician on a DoH NEAT funded project at the University of Kent, in collaboration with the University of Hull. This project investigated biofilm formation on a novel type of second generation tracheo-oesophageal fistula speech valve for use within patients who have had a laryngectomy.
In 2010, Sara was awarded a National Heart and Lung Institute Foundation 1+3 Studentship, with which she first undertook the MRes in Biomedical Research at Imperial College London. Sara is currently studying for her PhD in the Respiratory Pharmacology group where she is investigating the role of the ion channel TRPV4 in respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD using a multidisciplinary approach. It is thought that activation of ion channels such as TRPV4 can cause cough through activation of airway sensory nerves, and bronchoconstriction, both of which are characteristic symptoms of respiratory disease. New and effective therapies to combat these debilitating symptoms are urgently needed. The aim of her project is to elucidate the mechanisms behind sensory nerve activity and cough and bronchoconstriction in airway disease with the aim of developing novel therapies.
During her time within the Respiratory Pharmacology laboratory, Sara has been a recipient of a number of prizes including NHLI Day best poster presentation (2013) and best oral presentation (2014), the BALR Young Scientist prize at the summer meeting of 2014, and the GSK prize for best oral presentation at the BPS Pharmacology meeting 2014.