I am Joshua, 30 years old and from the United Kingdom. I will be undertaking a PhD in Biology and Health at the Nantes Université under the supervision of Professor Dominique Heymann.
I most recently completed a Masters by Research in Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, but I also have a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Bristol.
My research focus as part of the STRIKE network is on the cancer stem cell (CSC) niche of osteosarcoma. I will be looking to develop an ex vivo 3D model of osteosarcoma with which to characterise the molecular signature of CSCs and to utilise magnetic-field responsive nanotherapeutics with an overall aim to treat these often drug resistant tumour cells. After which an in vivo model of osteosarcoma will be used to further determine the nanotherapeutics’ effects.
The reason I chose this PhD project is because there is currently a lack of effective therapeutic agents capable of treating the drug resistant and immunoevasive CSCs of osteosarcoma.
These cells are often responsible for metastasis from the primary tumour and recurrence after treatment, making their treatment key in the path to cancer remission.
I find CSCs and the tumour microenvironment to be a fascinating area of research and I see it as an essential challenge to tackle them in the treatment of malignant tumours. Therefore, I’m grateful that the STRIKE network has given me the opportunity to be involved in this research.