Dr Chloe Ormonde (currently on maternity leave)
Senior Technician, Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute
I’m an enthusiastic, conscientious and approachable research scientist, with over 10 years’ experience in academic, laboratory-based research.
I started my academic career as a Research Assistant working within the laboratory of Professor Alan Williams (British Heart Foundation, Sir Thomas Lewis Professor of Cardiovascular Science) at the Wales Heart Research Institute (2007-2016), Cardiff University; and successfully completed a Ph.D. part-time under the supervision of Professor Williams and Dr N.Lowri Thomas. My research focused primarily on the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) and its role in health and disease. In particular, Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT), an arrhythmogenic, often fatal disorder, caused by mutations in RyR2 and calsequestrin genes (calsequestrin being the major calcium storage protein within the sarcoplasmic reticulum of cardiac muscle). Using a recombinant approach, my work involved characterising disease-causing RyR2 mutations and directly comparing these findings with wild-type RyR2 data; with the aim to identify the physical mechanisms that generate enhanced RyR2 channel sensitivity and/or instability. My Ph.D. project focused on the response and interaction of wild type and mutant RyR2 channels with regulatory luminal accessory proteins calsequestrin and junctin. In this role, I developed a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms that underlie ion channel selectivity and gating, channel structure and channelopathies, as well as the workings of the cardiovascular system and cardiovascular pathophysiology.
In October 2016, I joined the Brain Repair and Intracranial Neurotherapeutics (BRAIN) Unit as a Senior Research Technician, headed by Professor William Gray (Professor of Functional Neurosurgery, UHW Cardiff). This position involves providing technical (ordering and stock checking, protocol generation, formulation of risk assessments, inventories and standard operating procedures, etc.) and laboratory (training new members of staff/students, overseeing laboratory activities and ensuring correct usage of equipment) support within the team. My research currently focuses on temporal lobe epilepsy and more specifically, defective hippocampal neurogenesis which often leads to severe memory and learning impairments in patients. As part of this project, I’m responsible for the preparation and culture (in two- and three-dimensional arrangements) of primary human brain tissue obtained from consented patients undergoing elective neurosurgery and the downstream immunochemical imaging and analysis of the cultured tissue, together with the testing of pharmacological strategies that could potentially reverse/improve these deficits. In this position, I have developed a good understanding of the Human Tissue Act and knowledge of clinical research regulations. Furthermore, I’m continuously gaining a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underpin neurological health and disease.
2014: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), Medicine (Cardiff University)
2007: BSc Pharmacology (Cardiff University)
Previous academic positions
October 2016-present: Senior Technician (Stem Cell Biology), Brain Repair and Intracranial Neurotherapeutics (BRAIN) Unit.
2014-September 2016: Research Assistant (Post-doctoral), Wales Heart Research Institute, Cardiff School of Medicine.
2007-2014: Research Assistant, Wales Heart Research Institute, Cardiff School of Medicine.