Erin attended Chichester College, West Sussex, where she completed A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. During this time, she also completed an Extended Project Qualification through which she researched various emerging treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
In 2017, Erin began studying Biochemistry with Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Bristol. In her third year of study, she undertook a research project seeking to identify and characterise a novel DEAD-box helicase from Sulfolobus solfataricus, initially using bioinformatic techniques. She expressed the protein of interest within cultured BL21(DE3) E. coli cells and purified the protein using His SpinTrap columns. Erin then performed NADH-linked spectrophotometric ATPase assays to characterise the ATPase activity of the proposed novel DEAD-box helicase.
In her final year, she completed a research project under the supervision of Professor Paul Martin through which she sought to identify novel cancer-related genes and novel parallels between cancer and wound healing. Zebrafish were used to model basal cell carcinoma using a modified GAL4/UAS system to conditionally express HRASG12V under control of the basal cell specific promoter krt19. Protein samples were extracted from these zebrafish and analysis of this proteomic data, using graphical visualisation and bioinformatic analysis software, allowed Erin to identify candidate genes of interest for further study. She then used RT-PCR-based methods to validate her findings, allowing her to identify two potential novel cancer-related genes. Erin then went on to design two proteomic screens using zebrafish to identify novel genes associated with both cancer and wound healing.
She graduated in 2021 with a first-class integrated master’s degree.
In 2021, she began studying at the University of Warwick where she undertook a PhD project under the supervision of Professor Matthew Gibson. This project will focus on developing polymeric materials with advanced functions for the cryopreservation of therapeutic cells and proteins to protect them from cold-induced damage.
University of Bristol (2017-2021)
Biochemistry with Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MSci), First-class Integrated Master’s
University of Warwick (2021-present)
Chemistry (PhD): Polymeric Materials for Cryopreservation
Email: erin dot b dot thompson at warwick dot ac dot uk