I am a PhD student in Prof. Dylan Edwards lab at the University of East Anglia, but also working closely with Dr. Stephen Robinson at the Quadram Institute and funded by Breast Cancer Now.
My project is entitled ‘Does Matrix Metalloproteinase-8 (MMP8) inhibit breast cancer progression by activating an anti-tumour immune response?’. In cancer, proper functioning of the immune system is essential to eradicate cells that have arisen due to uncontrolled division. Communication between host and malignant cells is responsible for orchestrating the immune response, and previous work suggests that MMP8, a protease produced by several immune cells could aid in this organization.
By using mouse tumour models, I hope to tease apart the role of MMP8 in the immune system during tumour progression by isolating and studying immune populations such as macrophages and neutrophils using FACS and gene/protein expression profiling. I am looking forward to understanding more about the complex field of immuno-oncology during this project and in the future.