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Shireen Fard is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Pathology, University of Western Ontario and Cancer Research Laboratories, London Regional Cancer Program, supervised by Dr. Jim Koropatnick. Her BCSC Studentship will augment her Ontario Graduate Scholarship as well as her Studentship from the CIHR/UWO Strategic Training Initiative in Cancer Research and Technology Transfer. Shireen is investigating new antisense drugs that target thymidylate synthase, an enzyme necessary for cell division. The aim of Shireen's research is to develop a method of delivering these drugs preferentially to breast tumour cells within the body, sparing healthy cells from the toxic effects normally associated with chemotherapy.
Sara Hamilton is a graduate student in the Biochemistry Department, University of Western Ontario and the Cancer Research Laboratories of the London Regional Cancer Program, supervised by Dr. Eva Turley. Her BCSC Studentship will augment her Canadian Institutes of Health Research University-Industry Studentship, in partnership with Echelon Biosciences Inc. Sara is studying how breast cancer cells interact with the tissue that surrounds them, and how these molecular interactions might be blocked by inhibitors, a strategy that might lead to development of new drugs to fight breast cancer.
Matt Irwin is a graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Western Ontario and the Imaging Research Laboratories of Robarts Research Institute, supervised by Dr. Aaron Fenster. Breast biopsy, a procedure commonly used to obtain samples of suspicious tissue, is subject to limitations that can hinder an accurate cancer diagnosis. Matt is working on a system that combines modern medical imaging and needle guidance technology with the aim of improving the comfort, safety and accuracy of this technique.
Jennifer is a graduate student in the Medical Biophysics Department, University of Western Ontario and the Cancer Research Laboratories of the London Regional Cancer Program, supervised by Drs. Ann Chambers and Ian MacDonald. Her BCSC Studentship will augment her Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Graduate Scholarship. Jennifer is studying a drug called aprotinin, which is already in clinical use to decrease bleeding during cardiac surgery, to determine if this drug can decrease seeding of metastatic breast cancer cells in mice at the time of breast cancer surgery.
Jason is a graduate student in the Medical Biophysics Department, University of Western Ontario and the Cancer Research Laboratories of the London Regional Cancer Program, supervised by Drs. Ann Chambers and Ian MacDonald. Breast cancer can lie dormant for many years. Jason is studying mechanisms of dormancy of breast cancer cells in mice, and is investigating possible treatment strategies to attack dormant cancer cells.
Mira (Rao) Ray received her PhD in Experimental Pathology from the University of British Columbia in early 2004, and then joined the LRCC as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, working with Drs. Ann Chambers and Alan Tuck. Bone is a common site for breast cancer metastasis, but little is understood about why breast cancer preferentially spreads to bone. Mira Ray will study how breast cancer cells interact with molecules found in bone to lead to growth of the breast cancer in that organ.