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Research Assistant

Currently (October 2022) a postdoctoral researcher in Jelena Bezbradica Mirkovic lab at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Oxford University.

Functional Genomics

sarad-photo.jpegAs a research assistant I am currently working with Dr Benjamin Fairfax. Our main project involves the analysis of methylation changes in specific cells under different conditions. I am also developing a protocol to assess patients’ response to chemotherapy based on the quantification of circulating tumour DNA with digital droplets PCR. 

As an undergraduate at the University of Pisa in Italy I studied the expression of P4HA1 and P4HA2 in Xenopus Laevis embryos, in order to better understand the mechanisms of development and differentiation of eye structures. During my Master’s in Cellular and Molecular Biology, I developed a technique for detecting and quantifying miRNA produced by Torque Teno Viruses (TTV) in plasma and PBMC samples. TTVs are orphan viruses widespread in the human population that can cause chronic infection, whose mechanism of action is mostly unknown. After graduating I was awarded a fellowship from the University of Pisa that allowed me to join the group of Professor Katja Simon at the University of Oxford. There I studied the role of autophagy in neutrophil differentiation using a murine cell line model. In particular, we were interested in how energy-metabolic adaptation is linked to autophagy and its relevance during cellular differentiation.