My PhD project is looking at potassium channels in smooth muscle cells of the uterus to better understand how labour works in humans and why some people go into labour early. If we can understand that, then we can hopefully develop treatments to reduce the rate at which this happens and therefore minimise the associated poor outcomes. My project supervisors are Dr Kim Jonas and Professor Rachel Tribe.
My background was originally clinical as I studied midwifery at the University of Plymouth. I then transitioned fully over to research when I studied towards an MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology at Imperial College London and then worked as a research assistant for a year. This was a big change and I didn’t take the conventional route, but I’m so glad I did it! I chose the MRC-DTP because I knew I’d be getting the opportunity to study at a university with a worldwide reputation alongside leading experts in my field. It’s been really exciting to work with people who I know have had a huge impact on global maternity practice and our understanding of pregnancy.
I’m really enjoying the MRC-DTP because there’s been the flexibility to tailor my project to my interests and strengths as well as the opportunity to gain skills from the courses organised by the programme, like programming in R. Now I get to combine my passion for caring for women and their babies with my love of lab work and basic science!