Student Profile - Maha Bakhuraysah  

Maha successfully completed her PhD in 2016. She was a student in the Department of Medicine. Her supervisors were Dr Steven Petrotos and Prof Richard Boyd, and her research focused on identifying the immune function of NGR1 in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. This interview was published during Maha's PhD.

What is your research about?

My research focuses on the role of the Nogo receptor in Multiple Sclerosis, and we are working with Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE). Previous data has said that there was no new role associated with Nogo receptor so we are currently looking for the B cell populations and we found them. It has been published recently that in MS patients B cells are localised in the brain, and we found that in mice right now. The studies haven't mentioned anything about the Nogo receptor but we found them too.

Who is your supervisor and what do you like about them?

Steven Petratos. He's very encouraging and he helps us find ways to take the next step in our research.

What advice do you have for someone who is about to start their PhD?

I would say that it is important to know what you enjoy because if you enjoy your research you can do much more with it. Secondly you should find a supervisor that you like and can get on well with. For example, even though my supervisor is really busy, he always finds time to see his students which is really great, so I think it's important that you know that you're supervisor will support you.

What do you do in your spare time?

I prefer to be doing lots of things, so I play tennis and I like horse riding. I also love reading and discovering new things that I don't know about.

Where's your favourite place in the world?

I like Europe. I haven't been there yet but I have been to London, and I would love to take a trip over there one day soon.

What will you do when you finish your PhD?

I hope to do a Postdoc when I'm done with my PhD. Once I'm done with that I'll go back to Saudi Arabia to continue research and teaching. We are also planning on opening a stem cell research centre over there.