Shail Bhatt

Pathway iCASE 0+4

Cohort 2021

Pathway Journey

My PhD project is “Exploring the role of H3K4me3 in age-related cognitive decline”, in Albert Basson and Peter Giese’s labs, in partnership with MSD. I aim to understand the epigenetic marks that govern learning and memory and how they can become dysregulated with age. Working with my industrial partner, I aim to uncover compounds that can potentially restore normal epigenetic function, thereby reversing age-related cognitive decline.


Looking back, a PhD was always on the cards for me. Hailing from a sciences background in India, I completed my MSci in Cell Biology from University College London, a degree where I forayed into the world of research, exploring mitochondrial and lysosome disorders, peripheral nerve regeneration, and tumour-induced nerve remodelling. I also conducted research at Bart’s Cancer Institute, uncovering the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress on microtubule-associated cancers. While these opportunities drove me toward the world of academia, I still wanted to pursue a project where my work had a clear, translational impact. I, therefore, ended up selecting the MRC DTP iCASE programme, where I had the opportunity to work alongside a pharmaceutical company.

Now in my third year of the DTP, I look back at my time with fondness. The research has been gruelling, but deeply enriching; I have used in vitro, in vivo, and in silico approaches in my work, and have learnt many biochemical, genetic, and behavioural techniques. I have undertaken placements with my industrial partner and been introduced to the sophisticated world of Big Pharma. Simultaneously, I have been able to partake in initiatives across my department, my faculty, and my programme: I have helped organize the MRC DTP Symposium and currently sit on the MRC DTP Social Committee, planning exciting events for the cohort. I initiated the Questions Club within my department, a platform to engage in constructive dialogue about research. I have also been able to teach, mentor, and assist students at King’s College London. Together, my experience within the DTP has been incredibly stimulating and fun!


3rd Neuroepigenetics & Neuroepitranscriptomics Conference, Tulum 2023
MRC DTP Symposium 2022, 2023
MRC Joint DTP Symposium, UCL 2023
5th Crick PhD Student Symposium, Francis Crick Institute 2023


May 2021: Lewis Wolpert Prize for Academic Excellence – University College London

April 2023: MRC DTP Symposium – Best Poster (Oral) – King’s College London

May 2023: FoDOCS Postgraduate Research Day – Best Three-Minute Thesis – King’s College London

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