Molecular and cellular Mechanisms involved in hematological neoplasias - Prognostic implications and new targeted therapies
Portugal (PorMSIC) - University of Coimbra, Coimbra
University Clinic of Hematology and Aplied Molecular Biology;
Ana Bela Sarmento Ribeiro
Ana Bela Sarmento Ribeiro and Ana Cristina Gonçalves
English or Portuguese
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Carcinogenesis is a multistep process involving genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to the alteration of numerous signalling pathways involved in deregulation of cell proliferation, differentiation and death. The ability of tumour cells to evade apoptosis can also play a significant role in cancer progression and to desensitization of tumour cells to immune system and therapy, contributing to their resistance to conventional therapeutic regimens. On the other hand, epigenetic and genetic profile changes may be influenced by environmental factors as well as by genetic factors. These findings provide new insight into the understanding of carcinogenesis and may be useful in diagnosis, prognosis and therapy selection.
What is the aim of the project?
The goal of our studies are to clarify the cellular and molecular mechanism related with cancer initiation and progression; identify the characteristics of cells/patients that are potentially sensitive and/or resistant to therapy; and to evaluated the therapeutic potential of new targeted drugs designed to block different growth-promoting pathways, to activate apoptotic pathways or to modulate epigenetic mechanisms, as well as in combination or with gene therapy, in order to improve new therapeutic strategies and to modulate drug resistance.
What techniques and methods are used?
For this purpose we will study, in different cancer cell lines (solid and haematological tumours), sensitive and resistant to chemotherapy, and/or in blood or other patients samples, obtained from patients with cancer at diagnosis and at relapse, the expression of proteins involved in survival, cell cycle regulation and apoptotic pathways by flow cytometry and the methylation status of several tumour suppressor genes, using methylation specific PCR. We also intend to evaluate the potential of targeted drugs, as single agents or in combination with each other and/or with conventional chemotherapeutic agents and gene therapy using cell lines in culture. The mechanisms related with sensitivity and/or chemoresistance will be also evaluated using several molecular biology techniques.
What is the role of the student?
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
To work in the lab in order to acquire some knowledge and skills in the general techniques in molecular biology, cell culture and flow cytometry applied to medical research in particular in cancer research.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Students will be provided with scientific articles giving a background of the project as well as a lecture explaining the aims and the methodology being employed in the
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation
- The student will have the opportunity to present the results together with the supervisor at a conference
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
There are not any required skills, special knowledge, certain level of studies needed or legal limitatons.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
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