Dr Angelica Merlot
‘This work has the potential to lead to more effective treatments for pancreatic cancer patients and improve survival rates’
The spread of pancreatic cancer
Angelica is Scientia Research Fellow at Children’s Cancer Institute at University of NSW, working with Cure Cancer Australia alumna Professor Maria Kavallaris. Her current research focuses on the characterisation of specific molecular pathways involved in cancer progression and metastasis, and the development of nanoparticles to improve drug delivery.
A passionate cancer researcher who has dedicated her entire career to this field, Angelica completed her B.Med.Sci. (Hons I) Degree in 2009 at the University of Sydney, and went on to complete a PhD (Pathology, Medicine, University of Sydney, 2010-13) that focused on the development of novel targets and anti-cancer/anti-metastatic drugs that overcome drug resistance and selectively target tumour cells. The success of this research has contributed to a current clinical trial, treating patients with advanced tumours in Australia.
‘Our findings will take a major leap forward in understanding the role of important specific molecular pathways in pancreatic cancer progression and metastasis in human, animal and cellular models,’ says Angelica. ‘Excitingly, this has the potential to lead to more effective treatments for pancreatic cancer patients, improving survival rates.’
THE IMPORTANCE OF FUNDING
For Angelica and her team, the Cure Cancer Australia funding is vital to allow the continuation of this project. ‘Without this grant, we wouldn’t have the necessary funds to carry out our work,’ she explains. Professionally, the grant will provide Angelica with the opportunity to grow as a researcher and make a positive difference to the outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients.
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