Malgorzata Murray (Gonya)

I am a Senior Research Technician in the Department of Neuromuscular Disorders, Institute of Neurology, University College London, since July 2019.  I am part of the research group led by Professor Henry Houlden, participating in the novel gene discovery for rare neurological disorders, and developing the NGS long-read sequencing protocols utilising PacBio and Nanopore Technologies. Additionally, I take part in the QMS and data organisation in our department by developing our database and maintaining the website.

I graduated from The Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdansk & Medical University of Gdansk, Poland, where I obtained a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology. My Master’s project was carried out in the Division of Plant Protection and Biotechnology, and involved molecular analysis of genetic diversity among Erwinia chrysanthemi species using molecular and physiological markers. During my study I also carried out antibiotic-resistance research among multidrug-resistant species (E. faecalis and E. faecium) in the Department of Clinical Bacteriology, Regional Hospital in Gdansk, Poland.

Additionally, I undertook another Master’s course in Biomedical Science from Kingston University, UK. During my Master’s course I had the opportunity to undertake my research project in the New Product Development Department at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK),  where I was testing efficacy of selected preservatives using a variety of microbiological tests (MIC, biofilm study) and developing a new preservation system capable to replace parabens (Koko Schülke Microbiological Challenge Test).

My laboratory experience started (2012) in the Pathology Department of Kingston Hospital NHS Trust. A year later I joined the Neurogenetics Laboratory, University College London Hospital NHS Trust, where I was working for four years as a Genetic Technologist. I was performing various molecular techniques and analysis such as MLPA, Fragment analysis, and also participating in prenatal testing by performing Maternal Cell Contamination test including interpretation of the results for neurogenetic disorders.

I was working for two years as a Senior Genetic Technologist in Molecular Diagnostics, Clinical Genomics, The Centre for Molecular Pathology, The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust and Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK where I was participating in delivering genetic-driven personalised treatment for patients with various types of cancer, solid and haematological malignancies, by performing RT PCR techniques and implementing NGS sequencing technology (CRC and BRCA panels) and analysis.

I have been involved in Genomic England 100K Genomes Project in both Rare Diseases (2015 – 2017) and Cancer (2017-2019) pathways, which involved setting up the pathway, and training staff. During my 5 years journey with GEL Project I was managing the workflow and sample processing, liaising with Genomic England Team, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Laboratory and the Recruitment Team. I have received a Staff Appreciation award for the GEL Leadership role in 2018 (RMH Pathology Department Annual Awards).

I am passionate about genetic research, and believe in the importance of the genetic discoveries and advances.

As one of the most respected and inspiring scientists of all times, Professor Marie Sklodowska-Curie once said:

‘Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.’

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