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Lee Sims

DPhil Student

I am a DPhil student in Clinical Medicine supervised by Anita Milicic and Eleanor Stride, based between the Jenner Institute and Institute of Biomedical Engineering, supported by a joint Clarendon, St. Cross College and Medical Sciences Division scholarship. Prior to conducting doctoral research at the University of Oxford, I attained a BSc and MSc in Bioengineering from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, USA. While there, I evaluated how surface modification of polymeric nanoparticles could influence the efficacy of chemotherapeutics against cervical and ocular cancers. I also developed a variety of in vitro tumor spheroid culture methods for investigation of nanoparticle diffusion through the tumor microenvironment. Following my studies in bioengineering, I was awarded a US-UK Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar Award to pursue a masters degree in Epidemiology at Imperial College London. My project at Imperial focused on comparing data between national clinical surveillance datasets and mobile outreach clinics to investigate potential discrepancies between HIV viral load monitoring in South Africa. After completion of my epidemiology studies, I worked for the United States Agency for International Development, supporting programs focused on the research, development, and implementation of global health technologies. Most recently, I worked at the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow where I supported a programmatic portfolio and inter-agency efforts in biomaterials research.

At Oxford, my DPhil research will involve the development of single-dose microparticles, made by microfluidics, for a sustained release of vaccine antigen. I will also be comparing this approach to the standard prime-boost immunisation regimen and evaluate how different antigen availability kinetics impact the immune response.