Research student, School of Biosciences
“Lipid droplets in oocytes: shedding new light on why fats are good or bad for development” I use a chemically-specific, non-invasive multiphoton microscopy technique (CARS microscopy) to observe the distribution and content of lipid droplets throughout mammalian eggs and embryos. Using this technique, I am able to investigate how the characteristics of egg or embryo lipid content might affect developmental potential, and how high fat diets or obesity may take detrimental effect.
During my BSc Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy) at Cardiff University, I undertook a professional training year with Professor Karl Swann, investigating the roles of cell-cycle regulators in the timing of pronuclear formation following fertilisation. After completion of my BSc in 2012, I returned to Professor Swann's lab, collaborating with Professor Paola Borri, to undertake a PhD funded by the President's Research Scholarship. During my PhD, titled “Label-free Multiphoton Microscopy of Lipids in Oocytes, Eggs and Early Embryos”, I used CARS microscopy to observe and investigate the number, size, distribution and content of lipid droplets throughout mammalian egg and embryo development. I was awarded my PhD in 2016, and followed it with a brief stint as a lecturer in anatomical sciences to first year medical and dental students at Cardiff University. In April 2017 we were awarded a BBSRC grant to continue our studies into mammalian egg and embryo lipid content, so I continue my research with Professors Karl Swann and Paola Borri as a postdoc.