I came to the University of Aberdeen in 2003 to do Masters by Research (MRes) in Medical Molecular Genetics after completing BSc in Microbiology from the Bharathiar University, India. I worked on shark single domain antigen binding platform as part of the MSc funded by the prestigious British Council-Commonwealth Scholarship. After MSc I continued working on recombinant antibody technology and completed PhD in 2010 developing monoclonal antibodies disrupting the quorum sensing signaling pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa under the guidance of Prof Andy Porter, University of Aberdeen and also working within Wyeth/Pfizer Inc Protein therapeutics Lab, Aberdeen. After PhD I was appointed Research Fellow at the Scottish Biologics Facility (SBF), a leading centre for the generation of recombinant antibody based therapeutics, (in vivo) diagnostics and research tools with worldwide collaborators from academia and industry. I received the Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship in 2011-2012 which provided formal trainings in entrepreneurship and business development skills. Currently I am the Head of Scottish Biologics Facility and leads diagnostic and therapeutic monoclonal antibody development programmes in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), liver fibrosis, bacterial and fungal infections.
Internal Memberships and Affiliations
- Treasurer – Aberdeen Immunology Group, part of British Society of Immunology
- Committee member -NVISION (IMS Post-doctoral Research Development Network)
Recombinant antibodies from immunised sheep phage display libraries for early diagnosis, detection and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
Team members -Dr Mohammed Arastoo, Richard Lofthouse MSc (PhD student), Lewis Penny MSc (PhD student)
AD antibody development programme is in collaboration with TauRx Pharmaceuticals (www.tauRx.com), a world leader in Alzheimer’s research with a Phase 3 drug in clinical trials. Using recombinant antibody technology and the proprietary ‘Forced Epitope Selection’ technique, we have developed (over 300) monoclonal antibody fragments with strong affinity (picomolar values) and high specificity towards a range of tau protein epitopes.
Developing rapid point of care diagnostics and first-in-class therapeutics to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
This anti-infectives research programme focusses on developing point of care assays for early detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in respiratory diseases and novel biologics based treatment against fungal infections. This project involves collaborators from the Universities of Nottingham, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Electrochemical biosensor for the detection of bacterial quorum sensing compounds in respiratory diseases - with Dr Till Bachmann and Dr Holger Schulze, University of Edinburgh
Developing a point of care assay for early detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in respiratory diseases - with Prof Miguel Camara, University of Nottingham
Decoding fungal cell wall dynamics using unique surface glycoprotein targeting antibodies - with Prof Carol Munro, Aberdeen Fungal Group, University of Aberdeen
Team member - Mark Mawer (PhD student)
Development of Aspergillus cell surface-targeting antibodies as novel theranostics - with Prof Carol Munro, Aberdeen Fungal Group, University of AberdeenTeam member - Dr Tyng Hwey Tan (PhD student)
To develop the knowledge and capability to design, construct and test new and efficacious bi-specific drugs for liver disease
Team member - Dr Julia Martinez
This is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Aberdeen and Elasmogen Ltd (www.Elasmogen.com), a drug discovery company based on small antibody like molecules or soloMERS derived from sharks, developing a bispecific binding domain for the treatment of inflammatory liver disease specifically Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis or NASH.
Laboratory based Research Projects for BSc Honours, MSc Taught courses
Course co-ordinator for MSc research projects – UoA Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS)
Lecturer - MSc Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Biobusiness BT5014
Lecturer - BSc Molecular Microbiology MC3504