Where Ideas Grow

Gastric cancer project awarded with an EMBO grant

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) recently awarded PhD student Juliana Poças with an “EMBO Scientific Exchange Grant” which will allow her to learn new techniques and develop her research on gastric cancer in a laboratory at the University of Lund, Sweden.

Student of the doctoral program “Pathology and Molecular Genetics” at ICBAS and member of the research group “Glycobiology in Cancer” at the i3S - Juliana Poças emphasizes that “receiving this award represents a recognition of all the effort and dedication applied in this project on gastric cancer”. In addition, she adds, “it will allow me to have an international experience that I consider very relevant for my scientific and personal growth”.

For six months, the researcher will be part of the “Tumour Microenvironment” group, under the guidance of Dr Mattias Belting, where she will have the opportunity to “learn relevant new techniques” for her PhD project and to share and discuss its results in a  multidisciplinary and international context. “My goal is also to implement these new techniques at the i3S”, she adds.

The main mission of Juliana Poças’ doctoral project, supervised by Ana Magalhães and co-supervised by Celso A. Reis, is “identifying alterations in the glycosylation of gastric cancer cells, namely proteoglycans, and understanding if these glycoconjugates are transported in the vesicles extracellular cells secreted by tumor cells”.

On this visit to the University of Lund, she summarizes, “I will analyze the presence of these glycoconjugates in extracellular vesicles isolated from clinical samples of patients with gastric cancer. This work aims to discover a biomarker for early diagnosis and/or stratification of gastric cancer patients”.