Thet Thet Lin


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    Personal profile


    Dr. Thet Thet Lin is Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences in the School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

    She received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2001. She was awarded a PhD scholarship in Immuno-biology in 2005. Her PhD was focused in regulating the inflammatory response in human monocytic cells.  She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).


    Past Research

    Sep 2005- Aug 2008


    I investigated differential clonal evolution and proliferative histories of CD38+ and CD38- sub-clones derived from B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) patients with bimodal expression of the CD38 antigen.  (Funded by Bloodwise UK supervised by Professor Chris Pepper).


    In this study, I validated cell-sorting methodology to separate B-CLL cells into CD38+ and CD38- sub-clones using high-speed cell sorter and performed detailed serial molecular cytogenetic analysis to determine chromosomal aberrations in these cells. I also investigated telomere length and telomerase activity of these sub-clones to find out their proliferative histories.  My analysis demonstrated that cytogenetic of CD38+ and CD38- sub-populations revealed no distinct cytogenetic lesions or evidence of clonal evolution in both sub-clones.  Furthermore, telomere length analysis revealed that these sub-clones had short telomeres and low telomerase activity. Subsequent examination of cell-sorted CD38+ and CD38- sub-populations from paired peripheral blood and bone marrow samples showed no significant difference in telomere lengths or telomerase activity, indicating that these CLL cells were derived from a single clone.

    Sep 2008-Nov 2014

    Funded by Bloodwise UK supervised by Professor Chris Pepper and Professor Duncan Baird)


    The main question that I wanted to answer here was whether telomere erosion and fusion drive progression in CLL.  I used high-resolution single-molecule approaches to determine telomere length in CLL called single telomere length analysis (STELA). The results of this study indicated short dysfunctional telomeres were detected in CLL patients at different stages and accompanied by telomere fusion events.  Furthermore, patients with evidence of telomeric dysfunction were associated with genomic instability confirmed by array-CGH analysis.


    This study was the first direct evidence, which indicated the critical telomere shortening; dysfunction and fusion contribute to genomic instability and clonal evolution in CLL.  This work was published in Blood journal and awarded for the annual Hamblin Award in 2010.

     Furthermore, the impact of telomere length determination by high resolution of STELA on survival and treatment requirement in a large cohort of CLL patients was also addressed. The results concluded that short dysfunctional telomere is an independent biomarker and progression in CLL.  At the end of Aug 2011, this project was extended for another 3 years to gain insights into the biology that underlies telomere dysfunction and genomic instability and how this related to disease progression and clinical outcome.

    Research Interests

    My main interest is in cancer biology in the area of blood cancer.  I am fascinated by how chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells survive and how it communicate with its microenvironment.  I am also interested in looking at the effect of natural plant extract on CLL cells survival.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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