ICH Student Profiles

Current Students

Sophie-Beth Aylett
sophie-beth_aylett_photo Sophie-Beth graduated in Pharmacology (Undergraduate Masters) with a First Class Honours degree from the University of Bath in 2010, which included a year-long placement working at the leading Biopharma company, UCB. In addition, she also gained vital laboratory experience in the Inflammatory Cell Biology Lab at the University of Bath where final year project work was undertaken. Following a successful application, Sophie-Beth enrolled as an MPhil/PhD student at the UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital in September 2010 and was awarded a prestigious grant from the Child Health Research Appeal Trust to fund her research. Sophie-Beth is currently a student within the Clinical and Molecular Genetics Unit under the supervision of Professor Simon Heales and Dr Shamima Rahman and is studying the mechanisms responsible for the central folate deficiency observed in Mitochondrial Disease. Besides her full-time research, Sophie-Beth is also a member of the Staff/Student Consultative Committee, of which she is currently Chairperson, a member of the ICH Postgraduate Society and organises the weekly lab meetings attended by members of her Unit.
Dessi Malinova
In 2010, Dessi graduated with a Natural Sciences degree from Queens' College, Cambridge, where she gained research experience in cancer research (Cath Green, Zoology, Cambridge) and microbiology (Gillian Fraser, Pathology, Cambridge). One of her particular interests was the cell cytoskeleton and its regulation. She joined ICH as an MPhil/PhD student to study the role of the actin cytoskeleton in the formation of the immune synapse, where her supervisors are Dr Gerben Bouma and Prof Adrian Thrasher from the Molecular Immunology Unit. Despite having a very limited immunology background, Dessi found her unit to be a welcoming, motivating and informative environment. The project itself combines a large number of techniques and uses a Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome model to investigate how a defect in this actin regulator affects immune synapse formation and function. Dessi's non-academic involvements include being president of the UCLU Hiking and Walking Club and representing UCL at the World Model UN conference in 2011. She is also a member of the ICH Staff/Student Consultative Committee and the UCH Student Society. dessi_malinova_student-profile

 Past Students

Bruno Ferraz de Souza         
bruno-ferraz-de-souza-student-profile ICH, triggering his interest in translational research. He enrolled as an MPhil/PhD candidate in 2007, supported by a scholarship from Capes, an agency of the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Bruno’s work looked at identifying novel genes involved in the development of the adrenal glands in humans through the manipulation of steroidogenic factor-1, a master regulator of adrenal development. His PhD was supervised by Dr John Achermann and Professor Mehul Dattani, from the Developmental Endocrinology Research Group in the Clinical & Molecular Genetics Unit. Besides his full-time research, he served as a student representative on ICH’s Staff/Student Consultative Committee which he chaired during 2008/09, and Biomedical Sciences Editor for Opticon1826, UCL’s postgraduate-run academic review. Bruno completed his PhD in 2011 and returned to a research position in Brazil.
Saba Raza
Saba joined UCL Medical School as an undergraduate in 2004. After completing her preclinical studies, she undertook an intercalated BSc in neuroscience based in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at the Royal Free Hospital. She gained further research experience in Judith Campisi’s group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, before commencing her clinical training at University College Hospital. In 2008, Saba was appointed to the UCL MB PhD programme, in which students combine both clinical and research training by intercalating a PhD in the clinical course. Saba was awarded a Medical Research Council studentship to support the PhD stage of the MB PhD course. Her research was based on neural tube defects and neurulation, and she investigated a mouse model of spina bifida, under the co-supervision of Professor Andrew Copp and Dr Nicholas Greene in the Neural Development Unit. Saba was involved with the Postgraduate Society and social committee at ICH, and chaired the staff-student consultative committee in 2009/10. She was also a vice warden at UCL’s Gower Street student residences. Saba successfully completed her PhD in December 2011 and in January 2012 returned to her clinical studies to continue studying for her MBBS. saba-raza-student-profile-photo