My research here focuses on the LUD2015-005 Trial, a Phase 1/2 study of immunotherapy for oesophageal cancers. I work with a number of other researchers on constructing signatures of response and resistance to immunotherapy in this setting. The aim here is two-fold; first, by creating these signatures, we hope to find biomarkers of response that could help inform future patients about whether this therapy will be effective for them. Second, by understanding the process of resistance to immunotherapy, we hope to learn more about how this treatment could potentially be augmented to weaken that resistance.
Towards these aims, my main area of focus is the integration of multiple streams of big data generated within this trial, including RNA-sequencing, whole genome sequencing, and quantitative proteomics, to retrieve signatures that link with response to therapy. I am also particularly interested in characterising both the intra-tumoural and systemic immune system in the context of this study, especially using CyTOF and single-cell RNA-sequencing.
I have an additional role in this study in managing our trial lab site. This involves helping to direct trial sample collection, annotation, storage, and processing on behalf of our Institute.
Before beginning my DPhil at Oxford, I obtained a dual BS/BA from Rice University (Houston, Texas) in Biochemistry & Cell Biology and Classical Studies. During this time, I studied the role of Hedgehog signalling and viral oncogenesis in Merkel cell carcinoma at the NIH, and pursued research interests in autoimmunity and tumour immunology at the Cleveland Clinic and MD Anderson Cancer Center. I also conducted research into bioethical issues surrounding the implementation of whole genome sequencing in clinical practice as a part of the MedSeq Project, and wrote a senior thesis in comparative mythology on the topic of Indo-European flood myths. My doctorate study at Oxford is supported through the Rhodes Scholarship (Texas & Magdalen, 2016).