Cancer Research: Accidental Discoveries, Yeasty Cures, and Mathematical Biology

In her talk, Hira Javaid explores the effect of tumour heterogeneity on cancer development. Each cell in the human body contains 6 billion base pairs, with these DNA sequences combining to produce different proteins. Sometimes, sequence damage can cause mutations, which affect protein production and form cancerous tumours. Discussing this process, Hira Javaid highlights how early diagnosis can aid cancer treatment, facilitating intervention before cancer cells become too heterogeneous. She then notes how factors such as environment, lifestyle and diet can ‘tag’ onto DNA through the process of methylation, thus influencing subsequent protein production. This offers an exciting path for future research, allowing scientists to detect these tags within cancerous blood samples and aid diagnosis.

Hira Javaid<br>
Hira Javaid

Hira Javaid is a Clarendon Scholar and 4th Year DPhil Oncology student at the Tim Humphrey Lab. Her interests lie in the epigenetics of cancer and combining bioinformatics and experimental tools for the early detection of cancer. Her DPhil research focuses on developing DNA methylation as a blood-based biomarker for the non-invasive diagnosis and earlier detection of cancer. You can read more about Hira Javaid and her research here.

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