This month’s ‘researcher in the spotlight’ is BSGCT mentee, Alexandros Angelopoulos, Northumbria University.
Can you tell us about your research or your studies in the field?
I am a BSc student at Northumbria University, Newcastle currently undertaking a project investigating whether the reduction in microcephalin-1 (MCPH1) expression in a commercially available cancer cell line affects cell survival and if MCPH1-deficient cells can be targeted therapeutically by a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. MCPH1 is involved in DNA repair, cell cycle checkpoints, chromosome modification and function as a tumour suppressor.
What got you interested in this field of research?
I have passion for discovering new things and wish to expand my knowledge in cancer biology. Also, I believe that potential findings through research will contribute to improving the field of cancer research and may provide valuable treatment options for cancer patients.
What got you interested in applying to the BSGCT mentoring scheme?
I applied for the BSGCT mentoring scheme to engage with other researchers in the field who share the same interests, to learn from their experience and expand my network. An additional reason for my application, was to receive advice on the direction I should follow after my BSc studies.
What has been your favourite, or most surprising, learning outcome from the mentoring?
The BSGCT mentoring scheme helped me realise that I want to pursue a career in research and become an expert in the field of cancer biology. The most exciting part was that I got to meet my mentor, Dr. Christos Georgiadis in his research lab at UCL GOS ICH, London and we discussed the current progress of various projects on CAR T cell therapy for leukaemia patients.
Would you recommend the mentoring scheme to other students? And why?
I would recommend the mentoring scheme to other students, as I already did, because I always had stimulating guidance from my mentor, which helped me decide on possible master’s degree options and provided me with guidance on the PhD application process. I also found that it was a great opportunity for personal and professional development.
What do you like to do when you aren’t researching?
Beyond studies, I enjoy spending time on travelling and challenging myself in searching for new cultures and meeting new people. Also, I work out daily and I enjoy spending time on painting.