I graduated with a BSc (Hons.) in Microbiology from Cardiff University in 2017. During my undergraduate degree, I undertook a professional placement year within Cardiff University, that involved utilising cell culture methodologies to emulate the gut, which I thoroughly enjoyed, finding it both challenging and engaging. Whilst undertaking this training year under the supervision of Prof. Julian Marchesi, I realised that I was fascinated by the interplay that occurs within the human gut, where human cells are subject to factors and stimuli ranging from the variable pH to the impact of interactions between the host and its microbiota. As of October 2017, I was privileged enough to begin a PhD continuing the research begun during the professional training year, examining the impact of in situ-like factors (e.g. dynamic flow and probiotics) on colonocytes, under the supervision of Prof. Julian Marchesi (Cardiff University), Dr Lee Parry (Cardiff University) and Dr Tom Davies (Cultech Ltd.). This studentship is funded under the KESS2 doctoral training partnership, a European convergence programme that supports collaborative research partnerships based in the convergence area of Wales. My external partner is Cultech Ltd. a Port Talbot based international manufacturer of probiotics and nutritional supplements. As global innovators in the field of Probiotic research, the expertise and knowledge of those in Cultech Ltd. will be invaluable during this project, from providing insight to the field of probiotic research and beyond.
My research will focus on examining the impact of a novel dynamic flow through system on colonocyte cell lines in conjunction with individual strains and consortia of probiotic bacteria, thus enabling the development of a more representative gut model to improve upon cell culture methodologies utilised to minimise reliance on animal models. Particularly, this project will focus on the impact of both dynamic flow and probiotics on the cellular parameters of human colonocytes, such as viability, mucin production and inflammatory response to pro-inflammatory stimuli.
Presented a Poster at the Advances in Cell and Tissue Culture conference (ACTC2018) in Cardiff, Wales (May 21-23, 2018).
Presented a poster at the 17th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME17) in Leipzig, Germany (August 12-17, 2018).