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Summer Student 2022: Sophie Jorgensen

Summer Student 2022: Sophie Jorgensen

A human tissue model for testing novel approaches
to deliver chemotherapies

Supervisor name and institution: Dr Nick Peake, Sheffield Hallam University

Project summary:

Bowel cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the world. When diagnosed and treated early, the disease can be treated easily. However, 50% of patients that are diagnosed with advanced disease have a poor prognosis.

The environment caused by bowel cancer is very complex – it includes interactions between cancer cells, surrounding cells, and other molecules. This series of interactions within the tissue creates a wound-like response from the body. The study of the cancer environment is heavily dependent on trying to recreate this environment primarily within mice. However, due to mice being structurally different in comparison to humans, 90% of drugs that appear to be effective in mice do not work in humans.

My project will develop a human tissue derived laboratory model to study drug interactions. This will be a human relevant, more realistic model to better study drug interactions within a cancerous environment as it can retain the structural elements of human tissue.

Animals project will replace: Mice, rats and rabbits

Get to know Sophie…

Why do you want to participate in animal replacement summer studentship?

Over the course of my degree I have developed a keen interest to go into scientific research. When I came across Animal Free Research UK while looking for student research opportunities it was the ideal opportunity for me. The aims of Animal Free Research UK really resonate with me. I have been a vegetarian for 12 years and I strive to buy cruelty free products. Due to my chosen career using a huge amount of animal derived products and animals, being able to combine my personal values with the opportunity to collaborate and work with animal free researchers is a really exciting opportunity for me.

How will the Summer Student Programme help to kick-start your career as an animal free researcher?

One of my main goals while carrying out my degree is to equip myself and gain experience that will put me in good stead for a career in research. When I graduate I am aiming to go onto do an MSc and PhD focusing on metabolic dysfunction associated with cancer and disease. I am passionate about broadening my knowledge surrounding this subject area. Being able to study the biomechanical environments and developing human tissue models would be a great next step. I  feel this research program would give me more extensive experience in ethical, cruelty-free laboratory research and develop my skills in preparation for my postgraduate education.

How does your project fit in with your degree?

A large part of my degree is studying disease states and the biology of disease progression. I learn both the theory and the ways in which we diagnose a variety of diseases. This project gives me the opportunity to put my knowledge into practice and it gives me an insight into how research works. This will also equip me skills and knowledge to carry out my final year research project at university.



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Many human relevant approaches have been introduced into the scientific world, but unfortunately, the use of animals in medical research is entrenched and institutionalised, with many researchers still viewing animal experiments as the gold standard. This is our time to make change happen. Our work is funded entirely by your generous support, so please make a donation today to help us free animals from laboratories for good.

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Page last modified on July 7, 2022 8:29 am