Dr Claire Vinel, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University of London, has been recognised with a Future Leaders Postdoctoral Fellowship award.
The award from The Brain Tumour Charity will enable Claire to progress in her career and take the first steps towards being an independent researcher.
Claire is funded by Brain Tumour Research and works alongside Professor Silvia Marino researching glioblastoma (GBM) at our Queen Mary Centre. She has been a lead author of a number of high impact papers, including one published in Nature Communications, comparing glioblastoma initiating cells (cells that start off the tumour) and neural stem cells derived from the same patient with the view to use them as a discovery tool and drug-matching strategy.
Dr Karen Noble, Director of Research, Policy and Innovation, said: “Our congratulations to Claire on receiving this award. Progressing from a ‘post-doc’ to an independent researcher is not an easy task. It is a testament to Claire, with her focus and determination to continue a career in research, as well as Prof Marino, who is providing the right environment and support within her lab to enable researchers to develop skills and flourish, that she is starting on this journey.”
Claire’s project, titled ‘Characterising the tumour-muscle crosstalk to develop novel treatments for glioblastoma’, will start in April and run for three years. Many cancer patients, including those with GBM, have loss of muscle mass and function (sarcopenia), which has been linked to poor prognosis. Claire will investigate the relationship between damaged muscles and the development of the tumour within the brain to discover whether muscles release pro- or anti- tumour chemicals, as well as if GBM tumours release chemicals that could affect the muscle. Her research could help to develop a drug which mimics the effects of exercise to improve quality of life for less mobile GBM patients.
Dr Vinel said: “I was fortunate enough to have received support from Brain Tumour Research for several years, which provided me with the necessary time and optimal environment to acquire technical skills, expand my knowledge and establish a professional network. Thanks to the charity, I am now best placed to grow toward an independent scientist in the field of brain tumours.”