They grow up so fast – MRes 2021-22 – Megan

A little shout-out to Megan Hague who has just finished her first lab project with our group as part of her Masters in Research in Clinical Science.

Megan spent 3 months with the group under the tutelage of Conro Sugden. She worked on developing a drug screening tool for Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa.

The work involved learning lots of core skills including cell culture, transfections, western blotting, fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and cloning. Really impressive set of skills for someone who previously had no real lab experience.

The output is really good. Lots of interesting data that have established a platform for this project to build in the future.

One of the coolest things about this project was that Megan got to try her hand at some live-cell imaging using one of the constructs she made. The pics below are from human skin cells where the green and purple colours in the right hand images both come from proteins whose expression she has introduced into the cells. Laminin beta3 (LMb3-GFP) is a laminin protein that is frequently mutated in junctional epidermolysis bullosa. The snail trail you see in the pics shows that this protein is being left behind as the cells move. The mScarlet is an internal control red protein that she used to provide a direct indication that the construct was delivered to the cells and was expressing. The images below are just one part of multiple proofs that she generated to validate that the new system works.

It really was lovely having Megan in the lab for this short, intense stint.

It has been a little while since I last included a “they grow up so fast” post. I have missed a few really excellent students who did interesting and valuable work in 2021. Normal service will now resume and I may catch up some others in the next few days.

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