Organising Committee


Dr Flavia


Dr Flavia Flaviani is a senior bioinformatician at the Biomedical Research Centre at Guys and St Thomas’s and Kings College London. Flavia’s role at the BRC includes the delivery of bioinformatics analysis from various NGS technologies such as microbiome (both amplicon 16S and Metagenome), Epigenetics (EWAS) and human RNAseq. Before joining the BRC Flavia worked as a quantitative ecologist for CEFAS (UK) and intern as a microbiologist at the Public health department of the University of Cagliari (Italy). She achieved her PhD in Molecular and Cellular biology from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), which focused on Illumina NGS metabarcoding of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes as well as whole shotgun sequencing metagenomics from environmental samples. Prior to her PhD she achieved a second MSc in Bioinformatics at the University of Cagliari, where she worked on transcriptomics data.




Alicia Hadingham is a bioinformatics PhD student, researching how various omics approaches can be used to help improve our understanding of spontaneous preterm birth. Alicia is especially interested in data visualisation, and data analysis of microbiome and RNA-seq data. Alongside her research at King’s College London, she is actively involved in public engagement with The Brilliant Club, working with pupils from underrepresented backgrounds. Alicia has a MRes in Biomedical and Translational Science with Distinction (King’s College London) and a BEng in Biomedical Engineering with First Class Honours (Queen Mary University of London).




Victoria Horrocks  is a final year PhD student at King’s College London at the Institute of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences as part of the London Interdisciplinary Biosciences Consortium (LIDo). She uses a combination of microbiological and biophysics techniques to understand how the composition of the vaginal microbiome alters the vaginal environment and how this in turn affects activity of host defence peptides. Before starting the PhD, she completed a BSc in Microbiology at the University of Surrey with a placement year using metabolic engineering to produce biofuels.


Dr Nozomi


Dr Nozomi Itani is a teaching fellow in the Department of Physiology and a researcher in the Department of Women and Children’s Health. Dr Itani specialised in reproductive biology during her BSc and MSc at the University of Edinburgh, where she investigated how undernourishment in pregnancy affects fertility in the next generation. She then gained a PhD in fetal cardiovascular physiology from the University of Cambridge. She is currently looking at the effects of maternal obesity during pregnancy on the metabolic and cardiovascular system of subsequent generations. She is a member of The Physiological Society, Fetal and Neonatal Physiological Society and the Royal Society of Biology.




Arti Mistry graduated from St George’s University of London in 2018 with an MSci in Biomedical Science. At the Neurometabolic Diseases Laboratory, IDIBELL in Barcelona, via the ERASMUS+ programme, she undertook a project focused on the functional validation of candidate variants in the diagnosis of patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia and leukodystrophies. She started a PhD project at King’s College London in January 2019; she is studying the impact of RYR1 mutations on smooth muscle (uterine and vascular) function in pregnancy. Arti is interested in understanding the pathological mechanisms that link mutations to abnormal phenotypes. She is a STEM ambassador and is passionate about inspiring young people to engage in STEM subjects as well as breaking down stereotypes in STEM.


Dr. Paraskevi-Maria


After completing a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at King’s College London, Dr. Psefteli undertook a PhD in cardiovascular physiology within the School of Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences at the vibrant Waterloo campus. During her iCASE studentship, she employed conventional and microfluidic models of cell culture to understand the role of endogenous antioxidant defence systems in maintaining healthy vascular cell phenotypes. As a vascular biologist with special interest in the role of oxidative stress in the cellular processes underlying adverse pregnancy outcomes, in 2018 Dr. Psefteli joined the Chapple lab. She is currently funded by the British Heart Foundation to explore the therapeutic potential of dietary antioxidants in a murine model of gestational diabetes. Maria is passionate about science outreach and particularly enjoys volunteering and promoting activities that help guide young scientists through the early steps of their career paths.




Douglas Rees is undertaking a PhD in Developmental Biology at King’s College London with Dr Paul Taylor and Professor Lucilla Poston, to determine the effect of a synbiotic – pre- and probiotic – intervention on the developmental programming of offspring obesity. Douglas has particular interest in gut microbiota-host interactions and works on this in his current project, as well as previously at Imperial College London in Professor Julian Marchesi laboratory, using 16S metataxonomic profiling to determine the microbiota composition in various disease profiles.

Douglas also has a First class degree in Biomedical Science from the University of the West of England.




Sogol Salamipour is currently undertaking a PhD in maternal research at King’s College London. Sogol has a particular interest in in vitro models of the lower female reproductive tract and the use of physiologically relevant models to investigate changes in the innate immune response in women who deliver prematurely. Prior to starting her PhD, Sogol graduated with a First Class MPharm degree from King’s College London in 2015 and spent two years working as a clinical hospital pharmacist. Sogol is passionate about science communications and public engagement activities that raise awareness around women’s health and help to break the stigma in talking about women’s health issues.