Congratulations to Martine Abboud, a DPhil student at St John’s, who has received a commendation for her thesis from the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division.

The MPLS Division described her work as ‘exceptional’. She has also been recognised in the Division with a Pfizer-sponsored prize.

Dr Martine Abboud

Martine completed her DPhil in Chemical Biology under the supervision of Professor Christopher Schofield and the guidance of Professor Timothy Claridge.  Her College advisor was Dr Josh Makepeace. ‘My work has focused on the use of a wide range of ligand-observe and protein-observe nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy techniques, and other biophysical methods, to study two general classes of enzymes – the 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases and the metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) which are involved in the hypoxic response and antimicrobial resistance, respectively.’

Martine, who comes from Lebanon, was enabled to study at Oxford through winning the Sir Hans Krebs Memorial Award from the Biochemical Society, London. Speaking of her time at St John’s she said, ‘The freedom and support I have received have helped to motivate me. I'm especially grateful for the Special and Academic Grants I received. These enabled me to deepen my knowledge and attend conferences, which were key in establishing international collaborations. I am especially grateful to my College advisor, Dr Josh Makepeace, whose advice was always helpful.

‘Receiving the thesis commendation was my happiest moment; it's great to see hard work paying off. I'm more motivated than ever, and I couldn't be more grateful. I'm currently doing a postdoc and simultaneously considering progressing my career on the academic track. I'm interested in the metabolic enzymes involved in cancer and tuberculosis, which share similarities. I hope to contribute to the field meaningfully.’