Ms Holly Sadler
Having previously studied at St Catherine’s, I joined Oriel college for my DPhil in Michaelmas 2016. I have been elected Vice-President of Oriel MCR for the academic year 2017-2018.
During my undergraduate studies, I produced a dissertation on the role of stem cell signalling through the Notch pathway in the extraordinary regenerative capabilities of the flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. Since then, my interests have moved away from developmental biology and towards immunology and infectious disease.
I am now a recipient of a studentship funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). This allowed me to undertake two short projects before beginning my DPhil research.
One of these was supervised by Dr Adrian Smith in the Department of Zoology. The project focussed on the immunology of badger Toll-like receptor 9 on account of its potential role in susceptibility to bovine tuberculosis.
The other was based at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, where I worked under Professor Alain Townsend on the development of a broadly protective influenza vaccine. This work now forms the basis of my DPhil research.
My research focuses on the development of single-cycle influenza viruses as broadly protective vaccines. Existing vaccines against influenza are highly strain-specific. Because of this, they do not offer protection against pandemic outbreaks and are ineffective when seasonal strains are not accurately predicted. By designing viruses which are not able to replicate, we hope to produce a safe vaccine which is protective against a wide range of influenza strains and can be used in a variety of species. This could save countless lives and billions of pounds in the healthcare and agricultural sectors.