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Summer Student 2017: Rachel Henderson

Rachel Henderson, supervised by Dr Helen Wheadon at the University of Glasgow, used human-relevant research to study leukaemia without using animals.

Leukaemia is a cancer of white blood cells and arises due to a genetic change in the normal stem cells that produce blood cells in the bone marrow. Studying the leukaemic stem cells that are produced is challenging as these cells are rare and difficult to isolate.

Mice are usually used to generate the cells needed for leukaemia research; however, human cells can be used instead by reprogramming them in the lab to a basic stem cell state.

Rachel, supervised by Dr Helen Wheadon at the University of Glasgow, has developed a way to grow and support the use of these human cells. Her research has the potential to replace animal products and models in leukaemia research.

“Working with non-animal approaches to leukaemia research was rewarding and highly motivating and gives me hope for the future in creating many more human methods rather than using animals in research. The Summer Studentship Scheme is an amazing opportunity for development both professionally and personally and is a fantastic way to gain insight into replacement of animals in research!” – Rachel Henderson

Rachel Henderson lab leukaemia stem cell

“This was a fantastic opportunity to enable a student to gain valuable research experience. By training young people to think about research without animals, we can influence best practice in our future scientific leaders.” – Dr Helen Wheadon

Page last modified on June 13, 2019 12:18 pm