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Research Day: meet a winner

Published: 16 January 2020

Research Day took place on Tuesday 3 December, the day was a celebration of research excellence at St George’s. Research Day included oral and poster presentations and culminated with the Thomas Young Prize Lecture which was delivered by Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed.

Hafssa Anfishi won the Undergraduate poster prize at Research Day with her submission entitled 'Investigating effectiveness of wild type and optimised codon Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator transport in Cystic Fibrosis mutations'. Below, Hafssa discusses her poster, what inspired it and her reflections on Research Day.

“I was very lucky to be working with Professor Deborah Baines in the Immunity and Infection labs for my Biomedical Science undergraduate project. I was looking at the transport of glucose in the lungs and I was really enjoying my time researching and performing practical laboratory work.

“Once I completed my dissertation, I mentioned that I would miss the labs and Professor Baines suggested that I apply for an undergraduate summer studentship with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. This involved an eight-week lab project and was an amazing experience. It taught me so much about cystic fibrosis and research, and it has fuelled my interest in pursuing an academic career as a clinician in the future.

“I completed the studentship by presenting the poster at Research Day.

“Cystic fibrosis is a general diagnosis which can be caused by different types of mutations. These mutations affect a protein which controls fluid transfer into the lungs leading to serious health issues.

“There are three main types of mutations - types one, two and three. Most of the diagnosed conditions of cystic fibrosis are due to type two and three mutations which can be treated with combination drug therapy.

“Unfortunately, 10% of people diagnosed with cystic fibrosis have type one mutations and combination drug therapy does not work. The poster presented at Research Day was about how we wanted to test treating the type one mutation using gene editing by delivering a healthy copy of the affected gene and incorporating it into the mutated genetic code.

“Winning the Undergraduate poster prize was such a humbling moment and I am very grateful to my supervisors - Professor Baines and all my lab friends for supporting me and believing in me. I am also extremely appreciative of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust for providing me with this invaluable opportunity. 

“I would also like to thank St George's for presenting me with the prize!

“Research Day was insightful to say the least. I got to meet many researchers, some having just started their careers and some who have been active for a long time. Discussing their work and seeing how they are having a direct impact on our understanding of health and disease was inspirational and gives me a vision for my future.

“St George's is one of the world-leading centres in healthcare and research and it has been an honour to participate in this year's Research Day.”

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