Cynthia Wright Drakesmith
Daphne Jackson Research Fellow
I completed my DPhil in the MRC Human Immunology Unit of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) in Oxford, using proteomics to investigate the aetiology of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). In collaboration with the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, we used protein micro-array profiling to characterize the antibody response in patients with AS and demonstrated evidence of a systemic antibody response to connective and skeletal tissue.
During my post-doctoral work at the Wellcome Trust Centre in collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences we used quantitative mass spectrometry to profile urine samples from patients suffering from kidney stones. We found higher levels of many proteins present in the patients’ urine, of which one was shown to increase stone formation in vitro.
Following a career break I am now training to be a computational biologist, with a specific interest in studying how DNA mutations that arise in ovarian cancer can be assessed for their propensity to alter the immunogenicity of a tumour. In other words, whether a mutation can lead to a tumour being open to an immunological attack by T cells. In order to do this I am based in the Computational Genomics Analysis and Training scheme, the Cerundolo group in the HIU and the Ahmed group in the WIMM. I am currently funded by a Daphne Jackson Fellowship and the MRC.