Research project - Summer 1

With my project commencing soon, I thought that now would be a good time for a short introduction of the project.

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At 4 years old my auntie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a neurodegenerative disease. Throughout my life I have watched the progression in disability that this disease can cause and I have always questioned why? This has given me the drive to develop information surrounding the aetiology of MS as I do not want anyone else to have to suffer, and so this is where my research begins...

My question is: How are inflammasomes activated in Multiple Sclerosis?

I will begin with a thorough literature review, researching inflammasome mutations associated with MS, particularly looking at the components NLRP1 and NLRP3. After finalising which of the mutations I will investigate further, I will use various immunology techniques (cell death assay, ELISA for cytokines, and immunoblotting). I will then be able to compare the levels of inflammasome activation of the mutants and the wild type inflammasomes  and perform some data analysis. By doing this, I hope to reach a conclusion on whether any of the mutations identified could play a role in the aetiology of MS. 

This research project allows me to develop my ethical, leadership skills and my technical, laboratory skills, both of which will prepare me for my future career. I am very grateful for this opportunity and look forward to how I will progress through the scholarship! 

Lydia Rose Haines

Biology undergraduate, University of York

Hi, my name is Lydia Haines and I am a first year undergraduate student, studying biology, at the University of York. For my research project I will be looking at mutations in inflammasome components that are associated with Multiple Sclerosis. I am looking forward to this project and the opportunities to develop my leadership throughout the scholarship.