James Cain

1+3 Student

PhD Project – “Utilising the imprinted Mcts2/H13 locus as a model to study the tissue-specificity of intragenic CpG islands”

I did my undergraduate (BSc) at the University of Leeds in Biochemistry and also completed an integrated masters (MBIOL) working on epigenetic regulation in C.elegans. After spending two years in the scientific publishing industry at Springer Nature, I was drawn back to working on epigenetics. The MRC DTP offered me a chance to ease myself back into the research environment after coming right out of a completely different role via the 1+3 pathway. The MRes year provided the excellent opportunity to rotate around several different projects, including:

  • The histone lysine demethylase KDM5B regulates gene expression during hippocampus dependent learning
  • Development of a traceable in vitro model of adipogenesis to assess the m6A-methylome during differentiation
  • Deciphering the role of intragenic transcription in alternative transcript regulation during neurogenesis

The rotations allowed me to find out the questions I am most interested in within the field, figure out which project is the best fit for me and settle back into research. For my PhD project, I am using imprinted loci as a model to understand tissue-specific mechanisms of gene expression under the supervision of Prof. Rebecca Oakey and Dr. Rocio Martinez-Nunez.  Alongside my research activities, I am also part of the King’s College London Carpentries team which provides coding lessons for those new to programming.