I studied at the University of Bradford, obtaining a distinction in my undergraduate degree, B.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with Management (Pharmaceutical Management) in 2014 and the same result in a M.Sc. in Cancer Pharmacology, with a final project focusing on breast cancer, in 2015. I then worked in Project Management in a pharmaceutical company (Catalent Pharma Solutions) and as a Research and Development scientist in a diagnostic company specialising in immunoassays (BBI Solutions). In September 2018, I began my PhD under the supervision of Professor Ingunn Holen and Dr Penelope Ottewell in the department of Oncology and Metabolism.
My PhD project is entitled ‘The bone microenvironment as a master regulator of disseminated tumour cells responsible for breast cancer recurrence’ and is funded by the charity Second Hope. This project aims to determine of how cells and molecules in the bone microenvironment induce metastasised breast cancer cells into mitotic quiescence, as well as triggering their subsequent proliferation after a prolonged period of dormancy. I will use in vivo models to elucidate how systemic phenomena, such as hypocalcaemia and variable levels of estrogen, modify the microenvironment and impact the rate of bone resorption correlated with the development of overt metastases. These will be assessed in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised models to further investigate the role of the immune system in this process.
The final aim of my project is to employ molecular biological techniques to identify key molecules involved in triggering tumour growth in bone, and their origin, in the hope of bringing to the front potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets in bone metastatic breast cancer.