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PhD Student Blog


Randall – Projects

My PhD: Cancer cell plasticity, a molecular horror story

In 2012, over 160 thousand people died from cancer in the UK. Of these, about 90% were a direct consequence of the tumour spreading to new organs. Cancer cells move around the body and form new tumours in areas far away from where the cancer started. For example, breast cancer cells can end up in the liver and skin cancer cells can form new tumours in the lung. This deadly process is known as metastasis and is entirely dependent on the ability of cancer cells to move. Continue reading “My PhD: Cancer cell plasticity, a molecular horror story”

My PhD: Integrin nanoclusters and T cell migration

I work on T cells. These are a type of white blood cell, or leukocyte (leuko for white, cyte for cell). Specifically, they are immune cells: they function to fight pathogens – entities your body recognises as non-self that could cause you harm. These might be tiny viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites; even cancer. Some of these infect cells, and all of them can cause disease. Because these things can happen anywhere in your body, you need a cell that is highly motile to identify it as a threat (or not! As we will see). Continue reading “My PhD: Integrin nanoclusters and T cell migration”

My PhD: SIMPLI – Single Molecule Programmable Lifetime Spectroscopy

I was once told by a poster judge at a small conference that, “for a project titled SIMPLI, it’s not very simple is it?” as he perused my poster intently with what I noticed was a raised left eyebrow. There were a number of things I wanted to say in response to this comment that may not have done my score any favours. However since there was a £50 Amazon voucher on the line for the winner (and I had been eyeing a food processor for some time on my amazon wish list), I decided to choose a more appropriate response, which was “let me explain… Continue reading “My PhD: SIMPLI – Single Molecule Programmable Lifetime Spectroscopy”

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