Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Lauren Overend

BSc Genetics, UCL

DPhil Candidate in Genomic Medicine and Statistics


I am a second year DPhil candidate on the Genomic Medicine and Statistics program, based at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics. As of September 2019, I commenced my DPhil, working collaboratively in the Bashford-Rogers and Knight groups. I will be investigating the architecture of the B and T-cell Receptor repertoire during the disease course of sepsis.  

DPhil Project: 

Sepsis is as a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to often-unknown pathogens, with individuals exhibiting long-term immunosuppression following recovery. B and T-cells are vital components of the adaptive immune response and express a single surface B cell/T cell receptor (BCR/TCR) type respectively, for antigen binding. Diversity in receptors is generated by VDJ recombination and for BCRs, through somatic hypermutation and class-switching. The pool of BCRs and TCRs is termed the B/T cell repertoire. In healthy individuals this is highly diverse, yielding a complex immune architecture. However, studies suggest abnormalities in the repertoires of septic shock patients.  

I will generate the first comprehensive analysis of the BCR/TCR repertoire in sepsis using high-throughput BCR/TCR sequencing at multiple timepoints over the course of disease/recovery; one of the largest studies of this kind. Reactivation of Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is common during sepsis and EBV induces B-cell somatic hypermutation. Therefore, I will use single-cell RNA sequencing to investigate the B-cell transcriptional profile associated with EBV reactivation in sepsis and relate to prognosis. Finally, I will investigate the effect of immunomodulatory therapies (steroids, anti-TNF) on the BCR/TCR repertoire, thus improving our understanding of how therapies can be combined in sepsis.


Previously I was awarded a First Class Honors in BSc Genetics from University College London (UCL). As part of my undergraduate degree I undertook a final year research project on the ancient DNA analysis of historical leprosy. I also gained experience through several internships during my studies including: improving grain protein content in wheat (The John Innes Centre) and susceptibility of live stock to infectious disease (The Roslin Institute).