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Zhi Yi Wong

MPharm, MRes in Oncology

DPhil student

Pharmacist with a keen interest in immunology, trying to understand what drives lymphocytes compartmentalisation


During my undergraduate, I was fortunate enough to have found exhilarating joy in academic research. After achieving a first-class degree in MPharm at Nottingham, I finished my one-year pre-registration training in York and then worked as a hospital pharmacist in Suffolk while exploring opportunities for graduate study. In October 2019, I successfully secured funding and started an MRes under the supervision of Dr Macaulay in Oxford. 

Having worked in the hospital and studied at the Department of Oncology, I learnt that there has been a growing interest in manipulation of the immune response in cancer with an increasing number of drugs being licenced. Although immunotherapy has revolutionised cancer treatment, only a proportion of patients experience worthwhile clinical responses. On the other hand, my MRes project is about investigating novel genetic alterations underlying temozolomide resistance in adult glioblastoma (GBM), where the tumour microenvironment plays an important role in its proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis as well as the acquisition of stem cell-like and chemo-radioresistant properties. Performing scRNA-seq in a model of in vitro-induced MGMT-independent temozolomide resistance, we identify differentially expressed genes that I aim to validate as potential novel resistance drivers. Collectively, these have caused me to develop an interest in compartmentalisations and immunology.

I aim to be an academic researcher, able to conduct high-quality research and have my own research group with independent fellowship funding focusing on immunology and cancer research.