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Edmund Watson

Doctoral Research Fellow

I undertook a Medical degree at Brasenose College, University of Oxford, between 2007 and 2013. This included an intercalated Bachelors degree in Molecular Medicine, during which time I completed a research project under Deborah Goberdhan in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics here in Oxford. We used Drosophila as a model organism to investigate the role of an amino acid transporter in cell growth: my first proper experience of laboratory science, and one I enjoyed immensely. Yet, as much as I loved my time in Undergraduate academia, I was resolved to develop as a Clinician.

After working as a Foundation Year and then Core Medical Doctor throughout the Severn and North West Thames Deaneries, I settled upon Clinical Haematology as my primary interest. I returned to Oxford, and entered Specialty Training in 2018, embarking on a series of clinical attachments in the Oxford hospitals and a selection of District General Hospitals in the Thames Valley region. I am currently in my penultimate year of clinical training, but this has been paused while I re-connect with my academic aspirations.

I have worked in the Oppermann group since December 2021; first as an Anya Sturdy Clinical Research Fellow, and from Oct 2022 as a DPhil candidate in the Oxford Cancer programme funded by Cancer Research UK. I am studying the ways in which myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, can resist the killing effects of a therapy called Belantamab mafodotin. This is an antibody-drug conjugate – an agent that binds to myeloma cells and delivers a toxic payload – and which is currently a fifth (or greater)-line therapy for patients with myeloma. The tools we are using revolve around single cell techniques, including the multiparametric mass cytometry and single cell sequencing. I am learning how to perform the wet lab techniques that generate the data, as well as the bioinformatic tasks that translate those data into a meaningful conclusions that will hopefully benefit the patients I see in clinics and on the wards. I am delighted to be here in NDORMS, and working amongst the brilliant people of the Oppermann group.