Taylor Richards - ARPKD PhD student
I am excited to have been awarded a PhD studentship, co-funded by the PKD charity and I can’t wait to start working on this 3-year project on the ‘Molecular Mechanisms of the Fibrocystin-ATMIN interactions in Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD)’.
During the course of my undergraduate BSc degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Wolverhampton, I became interested in the ways that the building blocks of the cell interact and drive its activity and in how changes in DNA are the drivers of many inherited diseases.
During my studies, I learnt about the disease known as ARPKD and it fascinated me, not only as an example of such an inherited genetic disease, but also, due to its rare nature, there is less research being carried out, leaving an aura of mystery on the exact mechanisms underlying this disease.
During the summer after my second year I sought out the opportunity to undertake a summer internship and I managed to secure a placement looking into the ways that a novel gene, ATMIN, modulates ARPKD.
Having first-hand experience of how research is carried out and being able to put the ideas and techniques that I had learnt during my time at university into practice was an exciting experience. During this internship I got to understand the need for this research, which led me to volunteer to try and raise awareness for the disease at my university during Rare Disease Day 2018. After finishing my degree, I had become interested in pursuing a career in medical research.
Upon seeing an advert for a PhD studentship on exploring genetic interactions in ARPKD, I was eager to apply, enabling me to further develop my abilities and gain the knowledge necessary to move into a career in research and hopefully deepen our collective knowledge of the role of some of these major players in this disease.
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