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Clinical Secondees

Simeng Lin

I am a gastroenterology specialty trainee in the South West Severn region, with an interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). I am currently undertaking a clinical research fellow post with the Exeter IBD Pharmacogenetics team led by Dr Tariq Ahmad.

I have a particular interest in what factors determine why there is a varying degree of response to medications amongst patients, and my current research focuses on predicting primary non-response to anti-TNF therapy. We are applying a multi-omic approach involving genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics and proteomics on samples from the Personalised Anti-TNF therapy in Crohn’s disease study (PANTS) cohort to identify predictors of primary non-response. Data generated from each of these layers will be integrated using mathematical modelling techniques, with the aim of creating a simple clinical decision tool to be used prior to starting anti-TNF agents.

Coming from a clinical background, I am looking forward to my clinical secondment with the Translational Research Exchange @ Exeter (TREE) as I believe this will provide me with an excellent opportunity to work with experts in the field and develop essential bioinformatics skills to organise and analyse this unique patient dataset.

On a personal level, I enjoy exploring the south west countryside on my bicycle and have cycled around Dartmoor, the Mendips and the Cotswolds!

See Sim's latest blog post here.

Nick Thomas

I came to TREE as a clinical secondee in 2018, and was at that time a Diabetes and Endocrinology registrar at the RD&E hospital. I graduated from Southampton Medical school in 2009 and trained in Exeter, Plymouth and Perth Australia before returning to Exeter. When I am not in work you will find me outside, probably on a bike or in a kayak making the most of beautiful Devon.

My area of research interest (25% of my time is outside of clinic, focusing on research) is late onset Type 1 diabetes, particularly with regard to difficulties of diagnosis and the new insights into this disease’s heterogeneity, which the study of this cohort reveals. Working with Andrew Hattersley’s wider team, I utilised the UK Biobank dataset, a cohort of 500,000 individuals.

My full-time 6 month secondment with the Translation Research Exchange @ Exeter allowed me to develop new techniques to study diabetes in this unique dataset. At that point I was relatively new to the world of bioinformatics so had the opportunity to ask lots of questions, as well as offering clinical perspectives to people's work when asked.

See Nick's latest blog post here for a more in-depth account of his secondment journey, and what has happened since.

Yusur Al-Nuaimi

I graduated from Manchester Medical School and specialised in Dermatology. My PhD project in Systems Biology involved training in several techniques including tissue culture, immunohistochemistry, laser microdissection, siRNA, microarray and mathematical modelling.

My PhD mainly focussed on the switch between the growth and apoptotic phases of the human hair cycle (anagen to catagen switch) as well as investigating the roles of circadian genes (and proteins) in the human hair follicle. I have also worked on a project on cytokine networks in psoriasis and have an interest in better understanding the skin as a dynamic organ.

My current project is concerned with investigating the spread of inflammation within the skin in the condition lichen planopilaris to predict progression and to help understand how the different clinical phenotypes of the condition arise.