Where Ideas Grow

Work on glycosylation of gastric cancer awarded by international scientific societies

The study of the mechanisms that regulate sugars on the surface of gastric cancer cells with the aim of understanding the progression of this oncological disease allowed Catarina Marques to win two international grants to present her work at the “89th Harden Conference - Proteoglycans: Matrix Master Regulators” and bring back to Porto the prize for best poster. An award sponsored by the Biochemical Society and the British Society for Matrix Biology (BSMB).

The student from the MCBiology doctoral program participated in this conference under a COST INNOGLY scholarship and a Harden Scholarship, funded by the Biochemical Society. Catarina Marques had the opportunity to present a “flash talk”, a poster, and to “listen and learn from experts in the field of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans and discuss the work we are developing with researchers that I greatly admire”.

Receiving an award for best poster at a conference of this size, adds Catarina Marques, “was the culmination of an experience that, in itself, would have been fantastic. Furthermore, it encourages me to maintain focus and commitment to face the next challenges”.

Under the guidance of Ana Magalhães, researcher at i3S and professor at ICBAS, and researcher Romain Vivès, from the Institut de Biologie Structurale, Grenoble University, in France, Catarina Marques’ doctoral work is being developed in the i3S group “Glycobiology in Cancer”, led by Celso Reis.

Currently, explains Catarina Marques,”we are studying new enzymes that participate in the modification of sugar chains on the surface of cells and that have been described as being altered in the context of gastric cancer”. The objective, she adds, “is to understand how these sugar changes influence the development of the disease and, additionally, determine glycosylation signatures associated with the disease”.