Congratulations Hannah Shorrock – our newest PhD

Hannah Shorrock in the lab holding a copy of her PhD thesis

Dec 2017: Congratulations to Dr Hannah Shorrock, a Euan MacDonald-Centre funded postgraduate student, who has been awarded her PhD.

Hannah writes of her experiences doing a PhD at the Euan MacDonald Centre:

I started my PhD in the lab of Prof Tom Gillingwater in 2015, researching a childhood form of motor neuron disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Three years later and I have now completed my PhD with a thesis entitled: Understanding the role of UBA1 in the pathogenesis of spinal muscular atrophy.

Throughout my PhD I investigated the role of a protein called UBA1 in the development of SMA. UBA1 is involved in recycling unwanted proteins but the levels of UBA1 are reduced in SMA. During my PhD, I found that this reduction in UBA1 levels leads to changes in the levels of some proteins responsible for making new proteins. Disruption to one of these proteins led to alterations in the sensory nervous system in SMA. Using gene therapy, it was possible to correct these changes to sensory neurons in SMA.

The path to PhD completion hasn’t always been straightforward and involved a lot of long hours, working weekends and the frustration of experiments that fail. Despite this, I have really enjoyed my PhD and found that there is nothing quite like the sense of satisfaction when an experiment shows an interesting result or when a new technique finally works.

I would like to thank the Euan MacDonald Centre for funding my PhD and making this research possible. I would also like to thank the Euan MacDonald Centre for providing opportunities to present my research at postgraduate symposia and public events as I have found these to be incredibly valuable and informative experiences.

I am sad to be leaving the supportive research community at the Euan MacDonald Centre but I am looking forward to new adventures pursuing research into neurodegenerative diseases across the pond.

It seems like no time at all since we were welcoming Hannah to the Centre! She has been an asset to the Centre and we wish her all the best as she takes up a postdoc position in the USA.

Hannah’s PhD was made possible by the support of our generous fundraisers – thank you!

Related links

Euan MacDonald Centre PhD scheme

This article was published on: Monday, December 11, 2017