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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year

New researcher seeking insights into DIPG

Brain Tumour Research is welcoming bright young minds to its pioneering research team at the Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University of London, where we are building capacity and developing a specialist hub focused on paediatric research.

We are delighted to introduce you to Alexandra Hadaway, 22, one of the researchers who has joined Professor Silvia Marino’s team. She joins the team thanks to a generous donation from our Member Charity, The Children’s Brain Tumour Foundation, which was set up by Cheryl and Paul Davis following their son Miles’ diagnosis with an ependymoma, aged five. In winding down their charity, they transferred their remaining funds of £114,000 to Brain Tumour Research to fund this four-year PhD studentship.

Alexandra will be working on diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) – the deadliest form of childhood cancer with a median overall survival of between eight and 12 months. Her research is also likely to bring further insight into other types of tumours, including ependymoma.

Her research focus will be analysing epigenetic regulation within these paediatric tumours, the biological relevance of this epigenetic regulation and how this is important to tumour development. Specifically, she will focus on the interactions of a promising complex that has been studied in medulloblastoma to see if that work is relevant in other brain tumours.

Characterising epigenetic interactions can help clarify the pathways on which brain tumours are reliant to sustain growth, and can help characterise genes and proteins that are significant in tumour development.

Knowledge of these pathways helps find viable drug targets that could improve current treatments. If pathways already studied are found to be similar across different types of brain tumours, then drugs targeting those pathways could have even more clinical significance.

We welcome Alexandra to our team and look forward to introducing our second new scientist next week.

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