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Cyndi Goh

DPhil Student

Functional genomics of sepsis

As a clinician in Intensive Care Medicine, I have a special interest in sepsis, a disease that represents a major public health burden worldwide. Community acquired pneumonia is the commonest cause of sepsis and current treatment options are limited by a complex, heterogeneous disease phenotype. Specifically, the diverse microbial aetiology of this disease remains elusive in the majority of patients and evidence suggests we underestimate the role of viral infection. My research aims to advance our understanding of the aetiology and host response in severe sepsis due to pneumonia by building on an established cohort of patients recruited through the UK Genomic Advances in Sepsis (GAinS) study. 

My work involves the use of next-generation sequencing techniques to more accurately classify disease aetiology. This metagenomic profiling will be used to inform and extend the genomic and transcriptomic analyses performed to date for the GAinS cohort, including analysis of gene expression signatures and integration with expression quantitative trait loci mapping and a genome-wide association study of sepsis survival. This integrated approach has the potential to enable clearer resolution of biological processes and define novel therapeutic targets in sepsis.

Since graduating from the University of Cambridge with my MB BChir degree, I have been practising as a clinician. I am training in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia within the Oxford Deanery. In 2015, I was awarded an MRC/BJA Clinical Research Training Fellowship and am currently studying for a DPhil in Clinical Medicine.

Keywords: metagenomics, next-generation sequencing, sepsis, pneumonia, gene expression