I am a DPhil student, working under the supervision of Prof Jacqueline Boultwood, Dr Andrea Pellagatti and Dr Hamid Dolatshad in the Bloodwise Molecular Haematology Unit. I have a clinical training and background. The main subject of my research project is CRISRP-Cas9 based modelling of the myelodysplastic syndrome.
The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and closely related chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML) are myeloid malignancies. The molecular landscape of MDS and CMML has been greatly illuminated in recent years. Complex patterns of pairwise association between mutated genes have been identified in MDS and CMML, indicative of epistatic interactions. However, the nature of these interactions and how precisely they function to give the MDS/CMML phenotype remains unknown. Better understanding of these epistatic interactions may lead to identification of therapeutic targets. There is a clear clinical need for more effective treatments in MDS and CMML.
Using the combined power of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to generate new cell-based models of MDS and CMML we aim to shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying these myeloid malignancies, by the determination of the epistatic interactions between co-mutated genes, characteristic of these disorders.