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Understanding the events initiating glioblastoma

Fast facts

  • Official title: A 3D intact tissue analysis approach for the cellular and molecular dissection of a novel BMI1/Ephrin connection in human glioblastomas
  • Lead researcher: Dr Thomas Millner
  • Where: Queen Mary University, London
  • When: October 2016 – October 2019
  • Cost: £246,281
  • Research type: Adult, Glioblastoma (High Grade), Clinical Research Training Fellowship, Academic

The Brain Tumour Charity supports clinical research training fellowships to encourage and support new research talent in neuro-oncology. These fellowships will provide up to three years’ support for clinically qualified, active professionals to undertake specialised or further research training in the bio-medical sciences within the UK.

Understanding the events initiating glioblastoma

In order to treat glioblastomas, it is important to understand the characteristics and the events initiating this tumour type. As part of his clinical research training fellowship, Dr Thomas Millner is researching epigenetic modifications, an important aspect of glioblastoma development.

Epigenetic modifications are changes to the structure of DNA, which then affect the manner in which genes are expressed in cells.

Previous research has shown that Bmi1 is an important gene involved in the epigenetic modifications of DNA.

The aim of Dr Millner’s research is to determine if the relationship between Bmi1 and the genes it regulates exists in human glioblastoma cells and if it can be targeted with therapeutics. To accomplish this, the research team will examine the cellular and molecular properties of human glioblastoma cells collected from tumour samples.

This project will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms contributing to glioblastoma development and maintenance.

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Research is the only way we will discover kinder, more effective treatments and, ultimately, stamp out brain tumours – for good! However, brain tumours are complex and research in to them takes a great deal of time and money.

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Dr Thomas Millner, Clinical Research Fellow, The Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science in London, Queen Mary University, London