Studentship Awardee 2022: Mohammad Mofatteh

I am Mohammad Mofatteh, a second-year medical student at Queen’s University Belfast. Having completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford, I had established a strong research career before starting my medical training at Queen’s. At Queen’s, I am planning to continue my academic activities while studying for my medical degree. Being awarded an AIMS-RN scholarship enabled me to spend my summer at Welcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine, working with Prof Denise Fitzgerald and Dr Racheal Kee on multiple sclerosis to expand my horizon and learn new skills.

Briefly, MS is a neurodegenerative disease where immune cells attack the myelin sheath of neurons. One of the important protective cells in the immune system is regulatory T cells (Treg) that can drive the maturation of cells responsible for producing that myelin sheath (oligodendrocytes). However, the mechanism by which this has been done remains elusive. In my project, I used animal models which had injuries to their myelin sheath to investigate the expression of a molecule, namely MHC-II, at different time points after the injury. Understanding the pattern by which these molecules are made in cells can help us to realise their roles in the maturation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells and, overall, the remyelination process.

I would like to devote the rest of my life to research and training until I can become a successful academic neurosurgeon at a world-class institute to continue helping my patients and pushing the boundaries of science.