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Case Studies

Node Funded MRes Student 2016-17

Adam Bloomfield

”I have had an academic and clinical interest in oncology since starting medical school, though it is taught with some restriction in our curriculum. In the later years of medical school there is emphasis is on recognising patterns of symptoms and signs for recognition and management of malignancy. Undertaking the MRes in Cancer allowed for an appreciation of why these symptoms and signs manifest, and indeed help with understanding the response or sensitivity to treatment.

I chose a project in paediatric Burkitt lymphoma. This allowed me to further my understanding of carcinogenesis, and the experimental approaches that allow for such advances. I was interested in mutations: how they are discovered, how they can be classified and how to assess their cellular effect. Under the supervision of Dr Rand’s group, I used bioinformatic technologies to analyse next-generation sequencing data generated from relapsed and chemosensitive tumour samples of children with Burkitt lymphoma. This allowed evaluation of point mutations and indels in lymphomagenic genes. MYC encodes a transcription factor known as the “regulator of the genome”, which had the greatest mutation frequency in our sample cohort. The most interesting finding was homozygous TP53 mutation that was almost exclusive to relapsed samples, suggesting abrogation of the DNA damage response may underpin such cancer.

The MRes year is almost 12 months, and it is impractical to have a part-time job due to the demands of the project. As such the cost of living is high. Without the financial help of the Pathology Node Bursary, it would have been infeasible for me to undertake the research year. Importantly, a grant is also given to the research laboratory, which will help with the cost of future projects within Dr Rand’s laboratory.”

Please find more details on Adam’s Masters project from his poster below.


Node Funded MSc student 2016-17

Zeeshan Qureshi

Node funded MSc student Zeeshan Qureshi discussed his experiences from the 1st year of his MSc in Clinical and Health Sciences with Molecular Pathology.

”I am enjoying my e-learning experience and want to complete it with flying colours. I would advise my colleagues and juniors to enrol in such programs, owing to their inherent ease of accessibility. As I belong to a developing country, there is no well-established mechanism for pursuing advanced studies. Online degrees, if further augmented by financial support is a life time opportunity for my professional development. I’d like to disseminate the knowledge gained by this course to my colleagues, students, and laboratory technologists. In this way not only my career will be enhanced, but the whole institute and the whole country in larger perspective benefit. Furthermore, liaising with prestigious institutes like Newcastle University can be utilized to improve academics and healthcare in our country.

After completion of first year e-learning programs offered by Newcastle University I realize that it is a great opportunity for students, especially those belonging to developing countries. The MSc Clinical & Health Sciences with Molecular Pathology (e-learning) program at Newcastle University provides the opportunity to the individual student to develop in the discipline of molecular pathology, and pursue continuing growth in understanding of the complexity of health care issues at the institutional, regional, and national levels. The students also remain abreast of scientific and technological advances in the field of molecular pathology, bringing new ideas to the laboratory and implementing new technologies. The student also engages in scientific endeavors and add to the body of medical knowledge by conducting basic or clinical research.”

For further information on the Node-supported MSc course please go to our webpage.