The goal of my project is to build a predictive model that can estimate stem cell growth based on patient characteristics. The model will combine characteristics from mesenchymal stem cells isolated from participants with less invasive measures such as height, weight and a lifestyle / diet questionnaire with the goal of predicting stem cell outcome measures. This would inform patient selection for Stem Cell Therapies in order to avoid invasive procedures and allow treatments to be better tailored towards patients individual needs.
My project is funded by the Northern Ireland DfE. And NICRF Seed Funding
What is your ideal Research outcome?
Ideally my research would mean that patients that not likely to have positive outcomes from stem cell therapy could explore other treatments first, reducing medical costs but also avoiding a painful invasive procedure with a low chance of success.
Dr Susan Clarke, Dr Alex Lennon and Eugene Verzin
Why did you choose this PhD and why at Queen’s?
This project offered me the opportunity to branch out from my undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at Queens and develop skills and gain experience in the biomedical field. A lot of the opportunities for chemical engineers in Ireland are focused around pharmaceuticals and medical devices, this project allows me to expand on my studies of process development and incorporate an understanding of tissue culture and molecular biology.
How have you been supported at Queen’s?
During my PhD I have had the opportunity to present my work and take part in international events. The school of Nursing and Midwifery hosts an annual symposium and I have also presented to numerous research groups across the university. I have also had the chance to present my work at a UK wide bone research group event in Cardiff.
In what ways have you developed at Queen’s?
Through school run training seminars and masterclass workshops alongside graduate school classes, I have significantly improved the quality of my academic writing, public speaking and developed a better understanding of various software tools for a range of tasks including reviewing literature to coding.
Can you describe the postgraduate community in the School and at Queen’s?
Within Nursing and Midwifery there are several talented and resourceful members of staff and students with experience at all stages of PhD progression who frequently go out of their way to support others. The Queen’s graduate school offers a wide range classes and support to help develop skillsets and ensure the best quality in publications and academic writing.
Where do you hope your PhD will lead?
I am hopeful that my PhD will create opportunities for me to either continue my time in academia or as leverage to a substantial position within industry.
Anything else you would like to add or advice to new PGR students?
The experience and knowledge of students and staff offer great insight into the areas you should prioritise and the various tools and resources that can be used to improve the quality of writing and make life easier.