Mattia Ficarelli

Pathway NPIF 0+3.5

Cohort 2017

0+3.5 iCASE Student


I graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2017 with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry, where my final year research project involved generating and characterizing synthetic bivalent chromatin in murine embryonic stem cells. During university I spent a year abroad at Washington University in St. Louis, and whilst there I worked at the Medical School developing a protocol to rapidly determine lentiviral titre using digital droplet PCR. In addition, I carried out a summer research project at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology investigating the regulation of centromeric CENP-A chromatin integrity via the NAP related histone chaperone Vps75. These experiences inspired me to pursue a PhD.

My PhD project is an analysis of how specific RNA motifs in HIV-1 and lentiviral vector genomes control infectious virus production (Dr. Chad Swanson & Dr. Charlotte Odendall),and is in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline. The MRC DTP programme fosters a collaborative atmosphere that brings together a large cohort of talented and like-minded students, and provides them with world-class scientific training. Since starting I have greatly expanded my scientific network and have gained an exposure to both academic and industrial research, all while working in the heart of London.


To carry out my research at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology I was competitively awarded the Genetics Society Summer Studentship, to carry out my research project on the regulation of centromeric CENP-A chromatin integrity.

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