Laura Ferreras

Ms. Laura Ferreras, BSc MSc

Network Partners: Durham University and ALMAC

Keywords: GAGs; FGF2; renal fibrosis


Originally from Nancy, France, I started my scientific career by enrolling to study Biology at Henri Poincare University in 2008. Passionate about travelling and discovering new culture, I went to Sweden in 2010 where I undertook Physiology and Neurosciences classes at Linkoping University. The summer after graduation I did a volunteer training with Dr Helene Dumond on endocrine-mimicking environmental pollutants and testicular cancer. This first laboratory experience enhanced my desire to move forward with research. Therefore I did a Master Degree in Lyon, carrying out my final year project in the laboratory of Dr Michel Ovize to assess the deacetylation of the mitochondrial Cyclophilin D in ischemia reperfusion injuries. Following my Master, I worked as a research assistant for a year in the Physiopathology, Diagnosis and Treatments for bone diseases group with Dr Caroline Reynaud, U1033 Inserm, Lyon, France.

Having worked in three different laboratories has enabled me to have a wide knowledge in Science and techniques to work with. Throughout my master studies, I was a member of European Associations (AEGEE, EYP) breaking stereotypes, strengthening tolerance, respect and solidarity and discovering the wonderful cultures of our continent, and acting as public relations of Bio-docs Lyon, an association for young researchers, and as a volunteer for Coup de Pouce Université, an Association that helps international students to study in France.

My research in the POSAT project investigates the role of Heparan Sulfate sulfation in chronic rejection by studying the implication of 3-O-sulfated patterns and their roles in growth factor binding. During my secondment in Durham I gained a range of skills for peptides synthesis and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry. I synthesized different peptides and studied their binding to Heparin in the research group of Steven Cobb and Ehmke Pohl. After this secondment I realised how a deep knowledge and curiosity in chemistry can support a biologist like me to understand physiological regulations. I truly believe that this partnership is raising more scientific questions and interest on my project making it an ambitious venture.

My next secondment with our industrial partner Almac will be my first experience in private sector and I am looking forward to starting it. My ambition for this PhD is to explore different ways of doing science, from a chemist-biologist point as well as an industrial one. For me the POSAT platform is not only a partnership, it is a successful interdisciplinary and multi sector project.