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Adam Handel

Postgraduate Student

University of Oxford, BA (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences

University of Oxford, BM BCh in Clinical Medicine



Research Summary

I am a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow and, for my doctoral training, am using a multitude of functional genomic techniques to understand cellular heterogeneity in complex tissues.

In collaboration with the StemBANCC project, I am deriving cortical excitatory neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells. The differentiation protocol I am using reportedly recapitulates in vivo corticogenesis to generate neurons of each cortical layer identity. I am applying single cell transcriptomic approaches to this model system in order to deconvolve cortical layer identity from mixed cultures. Ultimately I wish to apply transcriptomic markers of layer identity with the aim of understanding layer-specific vulnerability to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

I am also involved in the bioinformatics analysis of single cell and bulk functional genomic data from thymic epithelial cell populations. The thymus is involved in positive and negative selection of T-cells, for which it is required to express virtually every protein that such cells might encounter within the body. The precise mechanisms underlying thymic development and promiscuous gene expression are relatively poorly understood but are clearly vital in decoding the cellular pathogenesis of autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Previous research

In the course of previous clinical academic positions, I investigated the genetic epidemiology of multiple sclerosis, with a particular focus on vitamin D and Epstein-Barr virus. I have also conducted research in epigenomics and potential publication biases in medical journals.


Other interests

I teach Neurophysiology at Wadham College, Oxford.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading any fiction I can get my hands on, board games, walking and squash.