CLINICAL COORDINATOR, BIOGRAPHY
After completing my BSc in Biochemistry from Imperial College, which included a year working at the EMBL labs in Heidelberg, I returned to my native France for an MSc in Differentiation, Genetics and Immunology, at the Université Claude Bernard, in Lyon. I then moved back to the UK to do a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology, at the University of Sheffield, working in the lab of Professor Claire Lewis. The project involved using prokaryotic transcription factors and response elements to develop an oxygen-sensitive suicide gene therapy system that might target the hypoxic and anoxic regions of tumours.
From Sheffield, I moved to the University of Oxford in 2001, joining the Gene Medicine Group, under the direction of Steve Hyde and Deborah Gill, and in collaboration with the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy (CFGT) Consortium. During my 13 years in this group, I contributed to the development of a range of gene therapy vectors and their assessment by qPCR (titration of viral vectors, measurement of gene expression in cell culture and pre-clinical models, quantification of DNA delivery in pre-clinical and human samples), ultimately providing a number of molecular assays for a Phase II clinical trial of the first multidose non-viral gene therapy trial for CF aiming to demonstrate efficacy.
In 2014, as the CFGT Consortium research programme entered a new iteration of vector development ahead of future clinical trials, I moved to another team: The Oxford Radcliffe Biobank. I started off as Operations and Quality Manager, supporting the Biobank manager and the Data and Research Coordinator to keep the Biobank compliant with regulatory requirements, whilst providing advice on project requiring access to human samples, under ORB ethics. Having been promoted to ORB Collections Governance Manager, my role has since evolved to include broader governance of tissue collections under ORB as well as coordinating the ORB/OCHRe tissue access committee. By working together with a team of 10 to 12 colleagues, every year we support dozens of clinical trials requiring access to pathology services at the John Radcliffe Hospital and even more projects run by researchers across the University of Oxford and the OUH NHS Foundation Trust, investigating cancer as well as other conditions.
For the twelve months from October 2021 to September 2022, I will be taking on a part-time secondment role, back in the Gene Medicine group, as Clinical Coordinator. This is an exciting opportunity to link up all my accumulated expertise to set up of a pan-European network of stakeholders to deliver gene therapy for lung disease to the clinic. We will be focussing initially on rare diseases, particularly in the field of respiratory insufficiencies in newborns.