The Isle of Man Anti-Cancer Association is set to fund a three-year PhD in cancer research at the University of Liverpool. The charity will be funding student Elisabeth “Non” Gash’s PhD, entitled: ’Quantitative imaging biomarkers of tumour haemodynamics and microenvironment for assessing treatment response to choline kinase inhibitors in a glioblastoma model.’
Professor Ken Mills, chair of experimental haematology at Queen’s University in Belfast and vice-chairman of the Anti-Cancer Association has worked closely with Professor Chris Sanderson, dean of postgraduate affairs, from the University of Liverpool with the appointment.
Professor Mills said: ’Firstly, we identified a shortlist of five suitable projects that would have some aspect of research that could be readily translated into clinical practice before going on to identify a number of suitable applicants for the project.
’Four candidates, including one from the Isle of Man, who unfortunately subsequently withdrew, were invited for interview.
’After the interview, Elisabeth was offered the studentship and then she had to decide which of the five short-listed research projects she would undertake.
’She decided to focus on the use of imaging biomarkers that have the potential to assess the patients with glioblastoma, a type of brain tumour, are responded to specific types of therapies.
’This research project should result in biomarkers that can move rapidly into clinical use for these types of brain tumours and for many other tumour types.
’This will mean that future patients from the island will be able to benefit from the research funded by the Association.’
Ms Gash said: ’It is a great honour to have been offered this exciting PhD studentship opportunity funded by the association. I am encouraged by the highly translational research conducted at the University of Liverpool and look forward to starting my research project, using quantitative MRI imaging to assess treatment response to choline kinase inhibitors in a glioblastoma model.
’Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain cancer with very poor treatment and survival prospects, and the development of non-invasive imaging assays would greatly benefit the accurate assessment of tumour dynamics and the development of treatment options.
’My thanks to IoMACA for enabling me to pursue this important area of research.’
Malcolm Clague, chairman of the IoMACA, added: ’The Isle of Man Anti-Cancer Association is extremely pleased to attract someone of the calibre as Ms Gash to undertake the three-year PhD studentship.
’She has chosen an interesting project with the potential that patients from the island who unfortunately develop this form of a brain tumour may become involved in her research which hopefully will lead to a better understanding of the disease in the future and development of better treatments.
’We wish her well with her research and look forward to her visiting the island in the near future to talk about her work.’