Grace Heredge Thomas
Originally from London, I completed my BSc Biochemistry at the University of Bath and was part of a research project looking into mutants in plants affecting seed viability. In my year abroad, I worked at the University of Iowa as a Research Technician investigating drug resistance mechanisms in pathogenic fungi. I had been introduced to the power of CRISPR genome editing and wanted more! Now, I am completing my PhD in Biological Sciences at Queen Mary University of London.
In my research project, I use CRISPR Cas9 and robotic systems for high-throughput genome engineering of libraries of yeast strains. These libraries are arrays of strains sharing a common genetic tag, such as GFP. Our method allows for one or more genetic changes to be introduced very rapidly, generating new custom libraries. These libraries are a useful bank of tagged strains, but I am also using them in screens to probe for cell cycle protein-protein interactions using endogenously expressed GFP-binding nanobodies to force a protein of interest to a GFP or YFP tagged strain.
My main areas of interest are synthetic biology, molecular genetics and molecular cancer mechanisms.