Non-Clinical PhD Student
Meet Danielle Love. She’s doing a non-clinical PhD which is funded by Cancer Research UK, and the aim of her project is to investigate the biological effects of proton therapy in lung cancer.
What is your background?
I’m Danielle Love and I completed my BSc in Biomedical Sciences and an MSc in Cancer Biology and Radiotherapy Physics at the University of Manchester.
What is the aim of your research?
To determine whether proton therapy induces alternative biological effects to photon therapy in lung cancer cell lines. This includes investigating the immunomodulatory role of these radiation modalities, and potentially altering concurrent treatment therapies accordingly.
Who do you work / collaborate with?
I work with the PRECISE group which is part of The Christie and the University’s Division of Cancer Sciences. This research group investigates proton beam therapy research, a new type of radiotherapy, in the hope to improve radiotherapy by minimising radiation-mediated tissue toxicity and maximising tumour control. As a PhD student in this group, I am investigating the biological effects of PBT, compared to conventional radiotherapy.
Who is your PhD funded by?
My PhD is funded by Cancer Research UK.
Where is your PhD based?
I am based at The Christie (where the office space of the PRECISE group is), the MCRC (where the biology labs are) and Alderley Park. I am mainly based at Alderley Park due to the vast lab space and facilities, and one of my supervisors is also located there. There are also daily shuttles that go between Alderley Park and the MCRC. My research on proton radiotherapy is based in the PRECISE group’s proton research room at the Christie, which is unique in the UK and one of only few around the world!
I work with the PRECISE group which is part of The Christie and the University's Division of Cancer Sciences. This research group investigates proton beam therapy research, a new type of radiotherapy, in the hope to improve radiotherapy by minimising radiation-mediated tissue toxicity and maximising tumour control.
Non-Clinical PhD Student
Why did you apply to the MCRC PhD scheme?
MCRC is renowned for its contributions to cancer sciences. It is a collaboration between the Christie (clinical and patient biopsies), University of Manchester (research) and Cancer Research UK. Therefore, I applied to MCRC PhD programme as I think this will help me generate research with maximal clinical impact.
What do you love most about working with the MCRC?
Alderley Park has vast lab space and a huge array of techniques and space to conduct experiments. The lab I work in has a considerable number of hoods (cell culture), incubators (good for accessibility), and another lab has lots of counter space for Western blots, flow cytometry and more. Additionally, throughout Alderley Park there are many other labs and facilities including imaging technology.
I love the staff because they are very kind and willing to help you no matter how busy they may be. All you need to do is ask.
What opportunities has the MCRC provided you with?
A PhD with the MCRC has given me the opportunity to develop my skills. It has also given me the ability to be self-sufficient in pursuing my own research.
What is it like working with your supervisor and team?
My supervisory team has a relatively hands-off approach with regards to day-to-day work. This enables me to structure my research independently and proactively, whilst having them guide me and formulate a plan to conduct the research. Overall, they are very supportive, and I am thankful to have their assistance and expertise in the field.
What do you hope to achieve whilst at the MCRC?
I hope to achieve meaningful, translational research that can be used in future to tailor treatment based on biological characteristics of a tumour/ the biological effect that the treatment elicits.