Virginia Fairclough

I am a PhD student supervised by Dr. John Pinney and co-supervised by Professor Michael Stumpf. I graduated from Imperial College London in 2011 with a BSc in Biology and I obtained a distinction in the MSc in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology in 2012, also at Imperial College London.

Part of my research is based on the statistical analysis of datasets obtained in the clinic by taking swab samples from patients (cases) and healthy individuals (controls). These samples allow the identification of different bacteria and the quantification of their relative abundances. The associated datasets have been provided by researchers at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) and my aim is to analyse these datasets using various statistical methods in order to identify key communities of bacteria associated with specific disease states, with the hope of subsequently characterising potential interactions between bacteria within such communities.

I am particularly interested in characterising metabolic interactions between bacteria so I am developing methods for analysing metabolic interactions between cells. I hope to be able to use these methods to analyse the metabolic dependancies and interactions between members of the key communities identified within the datasets supplied by the NHLI.