Throughout August, the SDRC are celebrating our next generation of researchers by publishing a series of blogs from PhD Students/ Early Career Researchers.  For the first week, we are featuring those that were in the SDRC Impact Report 2019.

First, we have Kotryna Baronaite, a PhD student from the University of Aberdeen. Kotryna’s research relates to the SDRC’s Diagnosis theme, which you can find out more about here.

I have joined University of Aberdeen as an Elphinstone Scholar and TauRx Ltd funded PhD student under the supervision of Prof John Storey and Prof Allison Murray. My project focuses on development of tau binding molecules for use as tau PET (positron emission tomography) probes.

This involves synthesis of a number of molecules which are then tested using a competitive assay. A selection of the most successful molecules can then be made and radiolabelled using tritium. This will then be used for an autoradiography study with tau transgenic mouse brain tissue at King’s College London.

I hope that this could lead to a small animal PET study which would benefit the understanding of the specific binding of tau protein to my developed radioactive tracer. I expect that this will aid in the early detection, staging and monitoring of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in addition to providing further insight within drug discovery areas.

I have completed my undergraduate degree in “Forensic Science and DNA” at IT Dublin University and Masters in “Analytical Chemistry (Drug Analysis and Toxicology)” at Robert Gordon University. The hope is to pursue my career in Alzheimers disease and maintain a keen level of interest towards academia.  

The SDRC will be posting blogs featuring bios from ECRs throughout August. Follow us on Twitter so you know can keep up to date with the series.