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Alexandra McStea

BSc (Hons), MRes

Research Assistant

As a Research Assistant in the Gene Medicine Group, my research is focused on developing new gene therapy strategies to treat surfactant disorders of the lung. Specifically, I am interested in mutations of the SFTPB gene which codes for surfactant protein B (SP-B), a protein essential to surfactant production and required to prevent alveolar collapse.

Although rare, severe mutations in the SFTPB gene are generally fatal in new-born infants and existing treatments such as surfactant protein replacement and ventilatory support are not curative. My goal is to help develop a novel lentiviral gene therapy, which can provide a life-long cure for patients.  

Before joining the Gene Medicine Group, I worked as a Scientist at Oxford Biomedica, a leading cell and gene therapy company. I worked towards developing GMP compliant processes for the production of new lentiviral vector gene therapies for a wide range of diseases. Prior to transitioning into the field of gene therapy I worked on a protein involved in the ubiquitination system and performed structure/function studies to elucidate its role. I also have a background in microscopy, having spent a year working as a Super-Resolution Microscopist in the Research Complex at Harwell.