Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) positive gastric cancer (EBV+GC) is the largest category of EBV-associated cancers with >80,000 cases annually. In EBV+GC cells, EBV is present in a latent (inactive) state, not expression any viral epitopes, thus allowing the cancer cells to escape immune recognition. EBV is able to achieve this latent state because of various epigenetic modifications. My research uses bioinformatics and computational analysis to understand the epigenetic mechanisms that underly the switch from latent to lytic (active) EBV state. My aim is to identify a mechanism that can be targeted to achieve abortive (limited) EBV reactivation, i.e., sufficient to trigger an anti-tumour immune response while also preventing increased viral replication and associated side-effects.
I completed my BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Manchester in 2022. I then joined the University of Oxford to undertake an MSc in Genomic Medicine at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics. During my MSc project, I was supervised by Prof. Schuster-Boeckler and worked on a project investigating the impact of using epigenetic modulatory drugs to reactivate EBV in EBV+GC which I am now continuing to work on as a research assistant at the Ludwig Institute.