PhD student has testing time in fight against Covid

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which this year has the theme of women scientists at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19. Jamie Thompson is a PhD student at the Biodiscovery Institute and she recently interrupted her PhD to help set up and run the University of Nottingham’s Asymptomatic Covid Testing Service.

Jamie says: “I am originally from New Zealand, but grew up mostly in the USA and Spain (parents moved around a lot!). I completed a BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Manchester, during which I undertook an industrial placement year at working for a pharmaceutical company in Vienna, Austria. I was unsure whether to continue in research, and for a brief time was planning on taking some time out to teach skiing, but then a PhD project which I loved the sound of opened up at the University of Nottingham. I started here in May 2017 on the EPSRC Programme in Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery, jointly supervised by Prof Cathy Merry and Professor Morgan Alexander. My project focuses on combining human pluripotent stem cells and biomaterials to create 3D models to study human development and disease, reducing the number of animals used in research. I am particularly interested in how specific carbohydrates made by stem cells influence how the cells develop and grow in a human embryo.