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Summer Student 2017: Evie Gruszyk

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Summer Student 2017: Evie Gruszyk

Evie Gruszyk, supervised by Dr Nicholas Peake at Sheffield Hallam University, developed a cell culture model to understand colorectal cancer without experimenting on mice.

There is a very clear link between fat and diseases that affect the colon. Particularly, fat build-up around the colon carries an increased risk of developing colon cancer. However, working with fat is difficult because fat cells are hard to grow in the large numbers needed for complex experiments, which means that research on fat is often done using experiments on mice.

In her project, Evie built a model of fat tissue using a unique human cell line that has been found to grow prolifically, to investigate how communication between fat tissue and cells of the colon cause an increased risk of developing cancer.

This model could provide researchers with a resource that will enable them to study how interactions between fat tissue and cancer cells determine cancer growth, instead of conducting experiments on mice.

Page last modified on June 13, 2019 12:21 pm

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Summer Student 2017: Shreya Asher

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Summer Student 2017: Shreya Asher

Shreya Asher, supervised by Professor Mike Philpott at the Animal Replacement Centre Queen Mary University of London, developed a skin cell culture model to better understand skin cancer and replace experiments on mice.

Large numbers of mice are used every years to investigate skin biology and disease. However, mouse skin is very different to human skin both in terms of thickness, number and size of hair follicles and sebaceous glands and lack of sweat gland, cell turnover, response to cancer agents and immunology.

In her summer project, Shreya helped to develop a prototype human skin model which is made using redundant human skin left over from cosmetic surgery and is widely available to researchers. The model can maintain normal skin structure and cell division and also maintains resident immune cells, which are usually lost within 24 hours of cell culture in other models.

Further validation of this model and acceptance by skin researchers would lead to drastic reduction in the use of animals for skin research – saving an estimated 3000 mice per year in the UK.

 

Page last modified on June 13, 2019 12:21 pm

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