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Summer Student 2022: Michael Dummigan

Summer Student 2022: Michael Dummigan

Developing a tool to better categorise types of breast cancer for better prediction & personalised treatments

Supervisor name and institution: Dr Nicholas Rattray, University of Strathclyde

Project summary:

Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in females and accounts for 15% of all cancer cases in the UK. Specific types of breast cancer which cannot be detected with traditional methods are difficult to diagnose in the early stage. However, cutting-edge sequencing tools to better identify genes and DNA mutations present an opportunity to develop new methods of early-stage detection by improving the way we categorize breast cancer.

More specific categorizations would allow for a more personalized approach to drug treatment and screening. In my project, I will use the available clinical data from existing breast cancer patients to investigate how different types of the disease contribute to disease severity and patient outcome.

Animals project will replace: Mice, rats and zebrafish

Get to know Michael…

In my off time, I enjoy skateboarding, mountain biking, going to the gym, gaming, reading, and playing pool. I love to visit the park near where my parents stay to feed the ducks, swans, and geese, as these are my favourite animals.

I believe this summer studentship will provide the direction I need in my future career as a scientist. A lot of modern research still relies heavily on the suffering of animals and in my career, I will strive to never contribute to this side of the industry. I think Bioinformatic research is the way forward for not only more humane research, but more accurate and precise research.

I have never agreed with the use of animals in research, and although things have improved in the last quarter century, a lot still needs to change. I believe that if we as a community work together, we can stop the unjust suffering of defenceless creatures and create a better world for future generations.

The project I am undertaking is actually very different from my current course work. I love the idea of this, as it means I will be developing essential skills outside of my core degree, which will help me with my future endeavours. I am currently unsure of what exact career I would like to pursue, but I am enjoying my pharmacology course and am interested in drug development.


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Page last modified on July 6, 2022 2:30 pm