Danielle Smith recently received the DWS travel grant, allowing her to present her project at the European Association of Cancer Research conference 2023 in Turin. Keep reading to see how it went:
My name is Danielle Smith and I am a second year PhD student in the translational radiobiology group at the University of Manchester and I was recently awarded the Don Whitley Scientific Travel Grant. My Project focusses on determining the hypoxia driven upregulated genes which drive resistance to therapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer using a whole genome CRISPR screening approach. So far, I have used a Whitley Hypoxystation to determine which cell model would be most appropriate for my project by assessing the affects of hypoxia on chemotherapy resistance in multiple muscle-invasive bladder cancer cell lines. I have found that T24 muscle-invasive bladder cancer cells show increased resistance to chemotherapy under hypoxic conditions of 1% O2 and 0.1% O2 at chemotherapy doses which correspond with peak plasma concentrations in patients. Furthermore, as whole genome CRISPR screening requires expression of the Cas9 endonuclease I was able to use the hypoxia cabinet to determine if Cas9 expression affects cell growth in both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. This was essential for my project progression in order to ensure any phenotypic responses determined during a whole genome CRISPR knock out screen are legitimate rather than being driven by Cas9 expression itself.
Thanks to the travel grant supplied by Don Whitley Scientific, I was able to present this research at the European Association of Cancer Research conference 2023 in Turin which allowed me to network with other researchers and gain valuable advice and input I will be able to use in my future work.
Thank you to Danielle who kindly supplied an overview of her work, we wish you all the best with your work and future endeavours. If anyone is interested in the DWS Travel Grant please head over to our webpage to see if you may be eligible.