Biology, ecology and biomedical science at Brighton

University of Brighton biosciences blog

Taking a stand against cancer

Two University of Brighton scientists are joining a pop-up stand in Brighton’s Churchill Square shopping centre on Friday (1 Feb) as part of events to mark next Monday’s (4 Feb) World Cancer Day.

Marta Falcinelli, PhD researcher in the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences (PABS), is passionate about fighting the disease and will be talking to members of the public at the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) event.

Marta joined the University’s Stress & Cancer group in 2016, fulfilling her ambition: “I have always been intrigued by science and at university I started to be very interested in molecular biology and scientific investigation, dreaming to perform experiments and work in a lab.

“I was inspired to pursue a career in cancer research when a member of my family developed the disease – fortunately this ended with a good outcome.”

Marta’s current project is focusing on the psychological stress experienced by cancer patients: “In particular, I am studying the molecular and biological effects that stress has on the modulation of the immune response against ovarian cancer. My research aims to use a pharmacological treatment in order to reduce the negative effects of stress and, at the same time, enhance the immune response against cancer.”

Visitors to the stall on the lower ground floor at Churchill Square near Superdrug will also be able to speak to Dr Aya Abdalla, University of Brighton Research Fellow in Cancer Bioengineering in PABS.

Dr Abdalla’s work mainly involves the development of a novel biosensor that is able to monitor certain reactive species from tumour tissue: “The main aim in this CRUK-funded project is to be able to monitor the levels of these species over a period of days and see how they are affected by different chemotherapies.

“I think the work done in this project will be able to deliver results on a short timescale that will be extremely beneficial to cancer patients. It pushes the boundaries of existing technology and through collaboration between experts from different fields, is trying to solve a challenging question. This will enable us to take a step closer towards personalising cancer treatments for patients.”

Laura Ruby • January 31, 2019

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