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 Jessica Chaffey

Jessica Chaffey

PhD student

RILD Building Level 4

Growing up on a farm, I enjoy being outside and in the countryside – walking the dogs and helping my Mum on the farm are two of my favourite hobbies.

When I finished my A-levels, I didn’t go straight to university, and decided to work for a year – I ended up working in Butlins. Whilst I was working, I really missed learning and challenging myself, so I applied to university and went to Plymouth to do Human Biosciences. I especially enjoyed all the practical elements of the course and finding out how stuff works! During the summer between my second and third years at university, I did a summer placement here, at Exeter University, in the research labs with Prof. Noel Morgan and his team. Whilst I was in my final year, a PhD was advertised with the team, so I applied and was lucky enough to get the place.

Whilst I’m not reading or in the labs doing experiments, I enjoy playing the piano and flute.

Qualifications

  • GCSEs
  • A Levels: Maths, Biology, Chemistry and AS in Music
  • BSc (Hons) Human Bioscience (Plymouth University

Research

Research interests

Research Summary

Evidence that implicates a viral infection to trigger type 1 diabetes onset is increasing. My PhD is focussed on the protein PPP1R1A. This is an inhibitor to protein phosphatase 1, which is thought to be critical to the activation of the viral sensor protein, Mda5. It has been observed that PPP1R1A is depleted in the beta cells of patients with type 1 diabetes, compared to people who do not have the disease. 
During my PhD I intend to investigate the factors which mediate the loss of PPP1R1A from certain beta cells, assess the influence of different isoforms of the protein, and study the influence and expression of PPP1R1A on a persistently infected beta cell model.

Supervisors

My supervisors are Professor Noel Morgan and Dr Sarah Richardson.

Funding

I am funded by a studentship from Diabetes UK.

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