I am a Wellcome Trust Clinical Career Development Fellow and Honorary Consultant Urological Surgeon working at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. My clinical and research interest is kidney stone disease, a very common condition that affects nearly 1 in 10 adults.
I studied medicine at Cambridge and Oxford Universities between 1999 and 2005, and since qualification have worked in the Oxford region, entering the Urology training scheme in 2010. In 2011 I was appointed Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellow, joining Professor Thakker’s group as a DPhil student. I defended my thesis in 2015 having had a fantastic time exploring monogenic disorders of calcium homeostasis, as well as becoming a mother (now two children). I continued as a clinical academic between 2015 and 2020 as a National Institute of Health Research Academic Clinical Lecturer in Urology and took up my current role with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences in 2021.
My current research focuses on exploring common genetic factors that increase an individual’s risk of developing kidney stone disease. By studying data collected by the UK Biobank, my research group has been able to identify 20 areas on the genome (genetic loci) that are linked to stone formation. However, we don’t yet know what effects variations in DNA sequence at these loci are having on how genes are converted to proteins and on biological pathways. We therefore aim to elucidate the mechanisms by which these genetic variations lead to kidney stone formation to allow us to identify targets for novel personalised preventative drug therapies.