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Katherine Heighes

DPhil student

I am a DPhil student from the Interdisciplinary Bioscience BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership program, researching within the group of Associate Professor Jelena Bezbradica Mirkovic, and co-supervised by Professor Mark Coles and Professor Christopher Buckley. My DPhil project is investigating macrophage-fibroblast cross-talk and the role of chloride intracellular channels (CLICs) in IL-1R signalling.

In 2023 I graduated from an Integrated Master’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham, which included a third-year placement at GlaxoSmithKline and a final year Master’s project. At GSK I worked within the genomic immunology research group, where I participated in the experimental validation of drug targets associated to macrophage inflammation in chronic inflammatory disease. My final year Master’s project was within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, supervised by Professor Andy Clark and Dr Sally Clayton, where I investigated the role of p38 signalling and macrophage metabolic regulation in response to treatment with anti-inflammatory glucocorticoids.

Upon graduating, I received the University of Birmingham Head of School’s Award for achieving the highest overall mark within my cohort and was excited to receive an Oxford-Reuben interdisciplinary scholarship for Academic Excellence to begin my DPhil here at Oxford.

I also have a passion for public engagement and outreach due to my previous role in the University of Birmingham’s Women in Science and Engineering Society; an activity which I hope to continue during my time at the Kennedy Institute and within Reuben college.