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Lauren Overend

BSc Genetics, UCL


DPhil Candidate in Genomic Medicine and Statistics

Biography

I am currently a first year DPhil student in Genomic Medicine and Statistics and am undertaking my 3 rotations in different research groups.

I have undertaken my first rotation with Professor Julian Knight on the sepsis project. Here I worked on developing a qPCR-based test, to be used in the clinical setting, which stratifies patients with sepsis into Sepsis Response Signatures. This is of clinical importance as the two groups have distinct immunological profiles and prognoses and also show differing responses to medications often given to patients with sepsis. Current whole genome approaches are too costly and time consuming to be used at the bedside.

I have also worked with Professor Tudor Fulga on optimising CAR-T tumour therapy using miSFIT technology - recently developed in this lab – for fine tuning the expression of the chimeric antigen receptor on T cells. It is hypothesized that by altering the levels of CAR expression in T cells an optimal level of tumour killing vs a reduction in the cytokine storm associated with CAR-T tumour immunotherapy could be achieved, which is a current and pressing challenge facing this therapy.

Previously I completed an undergraduate degree in Genetics at UCL, undertaking a variety of research internships during my studies including: ancient DNA analysis of historical leprosy (UCL) , improving grain protein content in wheat (The John Innes Centre) and susceptibility of live stock to infectious disease (The Roslin Institute).

I have a keen interest in applied research projects which develop new technologies (particularly genome engineering) within the field of genomics and healthcare.