Dr Jennifer Holden graduated from the University of Wales, Bangor in 2007 with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology. Following on from this, Jennifer pursued a taught Master’s degree in Molecular Parasitology at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. In 2008, Jennifer undertook a one-year Research technician post at the University of Warwick in Professor Elizabeth Wellington’s/Dr Orin Courtney’s research group to develop diagnostic tests for the detection of Leishmania parasites in bloods and Mycobacterium bovis in complex soil matrices. With a long standing interest in microbiology and parasitology, Jennifer pursued a PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2009 whereby she exploited a series of novel molecular biology techniques to deduce the molecular mechanisms involved in maintaining antigenic variation and virulence in the African trypanosomes, Trypanosoma brucei.
Following the completion of her PhD, Jennifer was appointed as the lead postdoctoral researcher on a NERC funded grant investigating the drivers of antimicrobial resistance dissemination within the Thames catchment. This large collaborative project centred at the University of Warwick used predictive models to ascribe the sources of antimicrobial resistance at the catchment scale; providing a much needed platform for the development of mitigation strategies that alleviate the spread of environmental antimicrobial resistance.
In addition to lab/field based research, Jennifer has also dedicated significant time towards outreach and teaching. For the past two years, Jennifer has been employed by the Brilliant club, an award winning charitable organisation that aims to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. Similarly, Jennifer has been involved in various antimicrobial resistance themed outreach activities including public science evenings, science festivals, tutorials, and television programmes.
Jennifer joined Micropathology sequencing department in June 2018.