Samantha Marie Lawrence

Profile

I joined the University of Leeds as a PhD student in October 2018, following my BSc undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of York (2014-2018). This included a Year in Industry at MedImmune (Cambridge). My research project is a BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership PhD Studentship between the Astbury Centre for Structural and Molecular Biology and MedImmune, and is jointly funded by the BBSRC and MedImmune.

Research interests

My research project investigates how hydrodynamic forces, such as shear and extensional flows, can cause damage to proteins. The goals of my project include generating a greater fundamental understanding of protein molecular unfolding under flow, using surface labelling techniques coupled to analytical techniques. 

Currently, I am investigating scFv portions of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, which are powerful tools in molecular medicines being developed today. These molecules encounter such forces and stresses during their manufacture and therefore it is important to further understand the processes leading up to aggregation, as to avoid blocking the huge potential of these drugs in the market. Stresses are performed in a flow device which mimics flows found in industrial manufacture, and I then use a range of analytical tools, including light scattering and mass spectrometry, to assess the levels of aggregation.

In the near future, I will direct my project towards measuring residue-specific detail of local protein unfolding under flow, by coupling an FPOP-compatable extensional flow device to MS procedures.

Qualifications

  • BSc Biochemistry (with a Year in Industry) (1st Class Hons)
  • AMRSB (Associate Member of the Royal Society of Biology) since April 2017