I obtained my BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from Liverpool John Moores University, which included a sandwich year at the University of Navarra in Spain where I researched the use of nanoparticles as drug delivery systems.
My Ph.D. at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine focused on the development of new and improved drug models to reduce, refine and replace animal usage within anti-filarial drug screening. For this, I developed in vitro co-culture platforms for the long-term maintenance and development of the human filariae, brugia malayi, to assess both direct-acting and anti-Wolbachia compounds in vitro. Additionally, I optimised different optical bioimaging technologies to track various filarial life-cycle stages in preclinical rodent models and monitor drug efficacy longitudinally, to refine animal use.
My research focuses on veterinary heartworm, a filarial nematode of animals and a human zoonosis. Current control of this parasite relies on the monthly administration of prophylactic drugs to kill early larval stages, however, resistance against these drugs is increasing. I am currently developing new models to evaluate alternative treatment strategies, whereby the intracellular bacterium, Wolbachia, can be targeted.