Investigating virus-host interactions
I am fascinated by viruses because they are relatively simple and yet are capable of causing such complex and devastating diseases. Currently based in Jan Rehwinkel's lab, my PhD research is focused on investigating how viruses are detected and dealt with by the innate immune system.
I graduated with a BSc(Hons) Immunology & Infection from UCL in 2015. At UCL I worked in Greg Towers' lab, initially as a BSc student and then as a Research Assistant, investigating HIV pathogenesis. As part of the first year of my Wellcome Trust funded PhD programme I undertook three 3-month rotations in labs across Oxford. During this time I worked at the interface of virology and immunology in the labs of Quentin Sattentau, Jan Rehwinkel and Michael Dustin.
Alongside my research, I am also a passionate science communicator. I was awarded a British Science Association Media Fellowship in 2018 and have written numerous articles for The Guardian. I regularly write and edit science articles targeted at non-expert audiences for science blogs, including the Science Innovation Union Editorial in Oxford. In 2016, my short talks about HIV and flu landed me in the regional final of the science communication competition FameLab UK.
Maelfait, J., Liverpool, L., Bridgeman, A., Ragan, K. B., Upton, J. W., & Rehwinkel, J. (2017). Sensing of viral and endogenous RNA by ZBP1/DAI induces necroptosis. The EMBO Journal, e201796476. http://doi.org/10.15252/embj.201796476