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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme


Department of Pharmacology

Research theme: Bioscience for an integrated understanding of health


Before starting on the SBS DTP in October 2021, I had previously completed a BSc in Neuroscience at the University of St. Andrews and a MSc in Pharmacology from the University of Oxford, where I conducted research projects on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, respectively. Throughout my time at university I became fascinated by the complexity of the nervous system and the challenges such intricacy presented the field of drug design and development, ultimately leading me to pursue my current PhD. Outside of academia, I enjoy travelling, cooking and trying out different sports.


Project Title:

Investigating the role of interleukins in joint pain

Project Summary:

Characterised by an increase in nociceptor responsiveness, pain sensitisation is a protective mechanism that functions to prevent further tissue damage and promote healing. However, in a pathological setting, inappropriate pain sensitisation is a key feature of many debilitating disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As a chronic inflammatory disease, RA patients often experience the recruitment and infiltration of blood derived immune cells to the synovial membrane of joints, where they promote inflammation by releasing proinflammatory mediators. Recently, evidence has emerged to suggest interactions between these secreted proinflammatory proteins and receptors present on nociceptors, may play a role in facilitating symptomatic pain sensitisation. However, these neuro-immune interactions are yet to be fully understood.

By employing a combination of research methods, ranging from primary cell cultures to behavioural experiments, my project aims to investigate the role interleukins, a class of inflammatory cytokines, in chronic joint pain, with a specific focus on RA.


Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Dr Ewan St. John Smith

Staff Photo

Contact Details

Job Titles

PhD Student