Identification & Optimisation of T Cell Receptors
T cell receptors (TCRs) are expressed on the surface of T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell), and play a fundamental role in the immune system. They are responsible for recognising antigens on the surface of infected cells and triggering an immune response.
Potential TCR sequence configurations have been estimated to number over 1015. My PhD work involves modelling the physical structure of TCRs and exploring how they bind to antigens. I am interested in exploring how more effective TCR-antigen recognition can be achieved using homology modelling, protein docking, and optimisation algorithms.
Analysis of the T Cell Receptor Repertoire
I help to maintain and extend the capability of the Decombinator pipeline for the rapid identification and analysis of TCR sequences in next-generation sequencing data sets.
Using our toolset, we process a range of sample types, such as blood and bulk tumour tissue, in order to profile and contrast the TCR repertoires of patients with disease against those of healthy volunteers.
Self-Assembling Collagen Architectures
Collagen molecules are the most abundant proteins found in humans and self-assemble into complex hierarchies that provide important structural support and function for a wide range of biological components.
Molecular dynamics simulations were built to explore the relationship between the electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions between collagen monomers as a driver for self-assembly.
Wnt Signalling Pathways in Prostate Cancer
A number of Wnt family ligands are known to activate the release of free Ca2+ within PC3 cancer cell lines. There is the potential that repurposing certain drugs to target these pathways may provide novel cancer therapy.
Automatic image analysis techniques were applied to model intra- and inter-cellular calcium wave dynamics in the context of prostate cancer.