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Caroline Telfer

MSc Biomedical Science


DPhil Student

I am a DPhil candidate on the 4-year Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Studentship, funded by the Oxbridge BHF Centre of Regenerative Medicine. Under the supervision of Professor Roger Patient, Professor Paul Riley and Dr Jana Koth I am researching cardiac regeneration in the zebrafish model.

Unlike humans, zebrafish can fully regenerate their hearts after injury. By identifying and characterising the genes important for zebrafish heart regeneration, we hope to learn how to replace lost cardiac tissue in patients. In zebrafish, cardiac regeneration is thought to require at least in part, reactivation of foetal gene programs. The cardiac GATA factors (gata4, gata5 and gata6) are known to be key regulators in cardiomyocyte lineage commitment and differentiation. Although these GATA factors have a known role in cardiogenesis, little is known about their role in cardiac repair and their value as a therapeutic target should be further investigated. Under the guidance of Professor Tatjana Sauka-Spengler and Dr Filipa Da Costa Simoes, I am investigating and characterising the gene regulation of the GATA factors in the zebrafish heart. By investigating putative enhancers, identified using ATAC-Seq data from cardiomyocytes taken from both embryonic hearts and adult injured hearts, I hope to uncover the specific regulation of the cardiac GATA factors in detail.

Prior to moving to Oxford in Michaelmas 2014, I did my undergraduate integrated Masters degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield. I then spent 2 years in London working as a Commissioning Editor for the company Future Science Group, where I worked on a variety of journals, including Future Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Epigenomics, Colorectal Cancer, Nanomedicine and Women's Health.

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