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  • Writer's pictureArjun Menon

The Rudy A Menon PhD Studentship: Project Update - Autumn/Winter 2021

Shauna Crampsie is now at the halfway point of her PhD project here at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR). Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the generous support of The Rudy A Menon Foundation has enabled Shauna to flourish and push forward our understanding of Gliomatosis Cerebri (GC).

Since our last update, all local restrictions within our labs have been removed and the team has been able to return to normal working patterns. Shauna has been delighted to be back in the lab with the rest of the team, and the project is moving forward in all areas.

This has meant Shauna has been able to do further work on our models of GC, continuing to expand and broaden our understanding of them. Also, the preliminary analysis of the single cell data we have collected so far has continued and we are hopefully looking at the final push on our single cell data acquisition. Our colleagues in Boston have continued to work on our GC cohort during the long months of lockdown and restricted working practices to get this part of the project completed.

Being able to explore the single cell data enables us to understand more about GC. This information will help Shauna to gain insight into the big questions we set out to better understand at the start of the project: what different types of cells make up and support GC tumours, how do tumour cells and supporting cells interact, and, ultimately, how can we exploit and disrupt these interactions and potentially develop new treatments. As this data will help shape the rest of the work Shauna will carry out during the project; it is thrilling for the team to have reached this point.

Finally – and very excitingly - with the US borders opening again in November it looks like Shauna will be able to travel to Boston soon in order to help on these last stages of the single cell work. Although the pandemic has made the international travel aspects of this project exceptionally challenging, Shauna is looking forward to finally having the opportunity to meet our Boston colleagues in person and help with the final stages of this part of the project.

We hope everyone at The Rudy A Menon Foundation is proud to hear about the progress your tireless work has made possible. Shauna, Professor Chris Jones - and everyone at the ICR - is honoured and humbled to have your support.

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