Ayesha Riaz

Ayesha Riaz

  • Alumni
  • Pakistan
  • 2016 PhD Genetics
  • Churchill College

I grew up and live in Karachi and received my undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Karachi. I also did my M. Sc. from the same university and later on became associated with it as a faculty member in the Department of Genetics. I completed my M. S. in Genetics from the Iowa State University on a Fulbright scholarship. For my thesis, I investigated the possible roles played by the RNase T2 enzymes and lysosomal membrane proteins in ribosomal RNA degradation in the lab of Dr. Gustavo MacIntosh. I collaborated with Dr. Linda Ambrosio on the project who introduced me to the wonderful world of fly genetics whereby I developed a keen interest in using the fruit fly, Drosophila, for modelling human neurodegenerative diseases. Hereditary spastic paraplegia constitute a heterogeneous group of hereditary disorders characterized by progressive lower limb weakness due to damaged or dysfunctional nerves and form the second most important group of motor neuron diseases. My doctoral research will be undertaken under the supervision of Dr. Cahir O’Kane and will focus on understanding the roles of hereditary spastic paraplegia genes involved in organisation of axonal endoplasmic reticulum. Upon completion of my Ph. D., I intend to join back my university to continue teaching and doing research in my field of study. I am excited and honoured to begin my doctoral studies at Cambridge as part of the Gates community.

Previous Education

University of Karachi
Iowa State University