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Posts Tagged ‘ann chambers’

Introducing New Breast Cancer Research Trainee Scholarships in London

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We are pleased to announce 13 new graduate student scholarships at Western University for the 2017-2018 academic year.  These awards are supported by the Breast Cancer Society of Canada’s very generous commitment to the Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit (TBCRU) at London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP).

Translational research unit student researchers

Trainees compete annually for these awards.  Their applications are assessed on the scientific quality of their project, their academic record, the relevance of the project to translational breast cancer research and the strength of their mentor.  This year, seven of the trainees are PhD students, five are MSc students and one is enrolled in the joint PhD-MCISc (CAMPEP) (Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs) Accredited Program, which prepares trainees to become medical physicists.

These students are enrolled in six departments Western University (Anatomy & Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Medical Biophysics, and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine).  They are working in Lawson Health Research Institute laboratories  at LRCP, St. Joseph’s Health Care London, as well as in laboratories at Western University.

Their research projects cover a wide range of important breast cancer research, ranging from basic biology of breast cancer cells to clinical studies, and all of their research is focused on improving care for breast cancer patients.  You can learn more about our trainees and details of their projects at this link.   Over the coming year, the students will provide updates on their research progress here on the BCSC research blog.

Congratulations to our trainees – and thank you to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada and its supporters!

Ann Chambers, PhD

Director of the Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit, funded by the Breast Cancer Society of Canada

Support life-saving breast cancer research

Why do some early breast cancers progress to deadly cancer and others do not?

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milica krstic

Milica Krstic in the TBCRU Lab

Hi! My name is Milica Krstic. I’m a PhD student in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Western University. I work at London Regional Cancer Program under the supervision of Ann Chambers, PhD, and Alan Tuck, MD/PhD.

I’m studying a protein called TBX3 and its role in early stages of breast cancer. It has been shown that TBX3 levels are higher in several types of cancer, but its role in breast cancer progression is not yet understood.

I’ve shown that elevating TBX3 levels in early breast cancer cells causes them to become more aggressive in cell lines and animal models. Women with early breast cancers (termed DCIS or ductal carcinoma in situ) have a 10-times-higher risk for developing invasive cancer than woman without DCIS history. However, why some lesions progress and others don’t is not yet understood.

I’ve studied expression of this protein in 200 breast cancer patient samples to see if TBX3 levels predict for whether these tumours will progress. I’m also studying the mechanism by which TBX3 promotes cancer progression.

Understanding this mechanism may lead to new treatment targets to inhibit TBX3 signaling pathways for breast cancer therapy, with the aim of stopping early breast cancers from progressing to deadly cancers.

Thank you to BCSC for your trainee support!
Milica Krstic
Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit, London Health Sciences Centre

The Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit in London announces 18 scholarship awards for 2015-2016

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The Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit scholarship award winners for 2015-2016

The 2015-2016 scholarship award winners

We’re delighted to announce that 18 graduate students at Western University have been awarded scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year. These scholarships are supported by the Breast Cancer Society of Canada’s very generous commitment to the Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit (TBCRU) at London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP), along with additional donor support.

Trainees compete annually for these awards, which are assessed on the scientific quality of their project, their academic record, the relevance of the project to translational breast cancer research and the strength of their mentor. Eleven PhD students and seven MSc students were selected for awards this year. Scholarships are full or partial, depending on other scholarships awarded to the trainees.

These students are enrolled in six departments at Western (Anatomy & Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Medical Biophysics, Microbiology & Immunology, and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine). The trainees are working in research laboratories at LRCP, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and Western.

Projects cover a wide range of research areas, including the metastatic spread of breast cancer, the genetics of breast cancer, improved imaging for early detection, improved treatments and much more.

Over the coming year, the students will provide updates on their research progress here on the BCSC research blog.

Read more about these trainees and their research projects here.

Congratulations to our trainees – and thank you to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada and its supporters!
– Ann Chambers, PhD
Director of the Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit

Identifying high-risk lesions for more aggressive treatment

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milica krstic

MSc candidate Milica Krstic (left) with supervisors Ann Chambers, PhD and Alan Tuck, MD/PhD

Hey all! My name is Milica Krstic and I’m an MSc student in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Western University. I work at London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program under the supervision of Drs. Ann Chambers and Alan Tuck.

The greatest concern for patients is the conversion of non-invasive cancer into invasive cancer. My lab has previously shown that breast cancer cells that are able to invade adjacent tissue have increased levels of a protein called TBX3. I’m trying to figure out the role of TBX3 in the progression of early breast cancer.

I’ve looked at what happens to cells’ invasive ability when we change the levels of TBX3 (up-regulate in non-invasive cells, down-regulate in invasive cells). I’ll shortly begin examining patient samples for TBX3 protein expression to see whether this may be used as a diagnostic of malignant potential. High-risk lesions can thus be identified for more aggressive treatment.

This study may lead to potential therapeutic targets and/or identify other novel targets of breast cancer therapy.

I presented the findings at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Diego last year. I’m looking forward to the next conference where I’ll highlight my newest findings, receive helpful feedback and grow as a researcher.

Thank you to BCSC for your trainee support!
– Milica Krstic, MSc student
Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit, London Health Sciences Centre

A Lab Tour of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit at London Health Sciences Centre

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A Lab Tour of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit

Meet some of the staff and student researchers that are working hard to make strides in breast cancer research.