Congratulations go to Dr Ahmed Eissa who has won a grant to host a EUTOPIA PhD student for the project ‘Bone marrow niche – lung cancer crosstalk: gossip or fatal choice of words?
The research relies on a unique assembly of biological, medical and bioengineering know-how to investigate antitumor immunotherapy strategies for combatting Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC remains the leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide, with a staggering 2.21 million new cases in 2020 alone1. The Bone Marrow Niche is thought to play a significant part in helping NSCLC take hold, spread and resist treatment.
As part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Dr Eissa brings his unique bioengineering expertise to the project. As an expert in advanced polymer materials, Dr Eissa recently developed novel emulsion-templated highly porous polymer materials that can serve as scaffolds for 3D cell culture and tissue engineering. In collaboration with researchers from the University of Bristol, Dr Eissa demonstrated that these scaffolds mimic the honeycomb architecture of human bone and support the culture of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells [C. E. Severn and A. M. Eissa et al., Biomaterials 2019, 225, 119533]. Building on these exciting preliminary results, Bone Marrow Niche experimentation will be expanded with VUB to study cellular cross talk, addressing unmet biomedical challenge using bioengineering approaches. PhD student Evelyn Calderon Espinosa will join the research teams of Dr Cleo Goyvaerts (VUB) and Dr Eissa (Warwick) in the new academic year.
1. Globocan. Lung fact sheet 2020. (2021). Available at: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/cancers/15-Lung-fact-sheet.pdf. (Accessed: 4th January 2021)