Senior Postdoctoral Research Scientist
I joined the Gene Medicine Group in November 2022 and my work here involves developing novel pre-clinical models of interstitial lung diseases using a combination of gene editing and relevant in vitro cell models. My ongoing research interests in the respiratory field include biological sex differences, the role of mtDNA, and novel models of the lung epithelium. In particular I am interested in lung diseases caused or influenced by genetic factors, including the interplay between gene variants and inflammatory or stress stimuli.
I completed my PhD and early postdoctoral training in the lab of Prof. Cliff Taggart at Queen’s University Belfast (2010-15), focusing on functional characterization of novel protease inhibitors with anti-inflammatory properties in the airway. Following a postdoctoral position at Dublin City University (2015-17) examining the immunological responses to liver fluke antigens, I returned to respiratory research in 2017 with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship to join Prof. Catherine Greene’s lab (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) to explore biological sex differences in microRNA expression in cystic fibrosis.
I was then awarded a Postdoc Fellowship from the Alpha-1 Foundation (US) to investigate the role of mitochondrial DAMPs in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and their potential effects on inflammation in the lung. In this work I differentiated patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to 3D distal lung organoids (“alveolospheres”) as a model of alveolar type II cells.