(Pictured clockwise from L: Ms Archita Biswas, Ms Viktorija Juric, Dr Brona Murphy)
On October 25th 2019, the Physiology Dept of the Royal College of Surgeons organised a symposium and raffle to raise awareness surrounding brain tumour diagnosis and to raise vital funds for local charity, Brain Tumour Ireland. Dr Brona Murphy, GLIOTRAIN PI and senior lecturer in Physiology at RCSI gave an overview of key results from her lab, whilst GLIOTRAIN students Viktorija and Archita presented scientific updates from their PhD Projects. The hash tag #wearahatday proved exceptionally popular, with almost the whole department turning up wearing a range of very fetching hats. The presenters even got involved, as you can see in the pictures. The event was a huge success, raising in the region of €1000 for Brain Tumour Ireland.
On October 30th 2019, Archita and Viktorija, along with RCSI post-doctoral GBM researcher Dr Kate Connor and Trinity College Professor of Neurophysiology of Epilepsy, Prof Mark Cunningham took part in a Brain Tumour Ireland event to update patients and their families on research being undertaken in brain tumours in Ireland. Dr Kate Connor presented first, giving attendees an overview of the research activities of the RCSI Precision Cancer Medicine (PCM) Group with a focus on the research being undertaken in GBM in her presentation "New ways of tackling Glioblastoma in the lab". GLIOTRAIN student Archita next presented her talk, entitled "Analysis of two extreme groups of glioblastoma patients". Archita's project seeks to exploit the differences in DNA, RNA and proteins between patients who respond well to therapy and those who respond less well, with the hope that these differences might lead us to new treatment options for those patients who do not respond well to current standard of care drugs. Viktorija Juric presented her research in a talk entitled "A potential new treatment strategy for brain tumour patients". Viktorija used drugs that target specific machinery in cancer cells that mean they keep growing and dividing uncontrollably. The drugs are showing early promise in the lab as they have been shown to kill GBM cancer cells, however the next steps will be to check the mechanism of how the drugs are doing this. It will also be important to confirm that the drugs cross the blood brain barrier and reach the GBM tumour. Prof Mark Cunningham rounded off the excellent evening with a talk explaining his research into treating the epilepsy that arises from the presence of a brain tumour. There were some really good and interesting questions from the audience for all of the speakers.