Clinical Trials Co-ordinator in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Aiste started her journey to biomedical research in Lithuania, where she got an equivalent of the 1st class honours degree in Biochemistry from Vilnius University. She then took a PhD offer from the University of Manchester and moved to the UK to investigate electrophysiological properties of excitable cells with the main focus on vascular smooth muscle. She was awarded a PhD in Physiology in 2012 and then took a post-doctoral project at The University of Oxford to study pharmacology and biophysics of specialised proteins called ion channels that are embedded in cell membranes and regulate their function. Upon successful completion of the project Aiste was awarded an Early Investigator’s Prize for her publication on ion channel characteristics in the Journal of Physiology.
Aiste then moved back to the University of Manchester, where she joined a cardiac research group. She was investigating structural and functional properties of ovine atrial transverse tubules, i.e. extensions of the cell membrane penetrating towards the interior of the cell. In parallel to this project she also got an Associated Fellowship Recognition by the Higher Education Academy for her contributions to teaching.
After successfully completing two biomedical research projects Aiste moved to clinical research and took a clinical trials coordinator’s role at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. She manages different aspects of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy trials portfolio from trial initiation to completion. Aiste is extremely pleased to see new pharmacological targets being identified for the treatment of this muscle wasting disease. She hopes that new therapies would lead to a life-changing breakthrough in clinical practice.