Kirstin Spence

Kirstin Spence

B.Sc. Biology, M.Sc. Medical Parasitology

Kirstin completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Leeds, where a final year project investigating the genomes of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum ignited her interest in medically important parasites. She then went on to gain an M.Sc. degree in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

For her master’s project she travelled to Brazil and was involved in a study to capture mosquitoes from local favelas and identify whether they carried the filarial nematode Wuchereria bancrofti. One of the most impactful things that she took away from this project was seeing how scientific research can have a real and positive impact on those from neglected or disadvantaged backgrounds. The results from this study were published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006816).

After her M.Sc., she then worked as a research technician at the University of Leeds, where her responsibilities focused on the production of proteins for use in protein-protein interaction studies. She enjoyed working within an interdisciplinary project and learning from the protein biologists and chemists within her team.

Kirstin is now in the final year of her Ph.D. degree at the University of York where her research involves unraveling the mechanisms behind autophagy and differentiation in Leishmania parasites, the causative agent of the neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis.

As part of her Ph.D., she also undertook a three-month placement at the Northern Ireland Assembly, where she was working in the Research and Information Service (RaISe). She helped to research and present information on a range of health-related subjects to Assembly Members and committees. She also authored blog posts on the issues of COVID-19 and the impacts of loneliness as part of her placement, which can be viewed on the RaISe Research Matters blog.

Outside of science, Kirstin is a keen boulderer and aspiring artist. In her downtime, you can find her curled up with a good book.

Kirstin is looking forward to being involved with AZoLifeSciences. She is excited to be able to contribute to the field of science communication, as well as broadening her knowledge across a variety of scientific disciplines.

Articles from Kirstin

What is Reverse Zoonosis?

What is Reverse Zoonosis?

How Will COVID-19 Advances Impact the Future of Medicine?

How Will COVID-19 Advances Impact the Future of Medicine?