Maria Secrier awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship
16 October 2020
Dr Maria Secrier has been awarded a £1.2M UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to investigate the role that tumour dormancy plays in the acquired resistance to various cancer therapies.
Dormancy is a state of reversible cell cycle arrest that is pervasive in cancer, but has been understudied to date, and it is emerging to be one of the major drivers of cancer progression and resistance to treatments that target proliferating cells. Dr Secrier will be integrating multi-omics and digital pathology datasets, and applying statistical modelling and deep learning approaches to shed light into the genetic background in which tumour dormancy occurs, its spatial context within the tissue and its impact on therapy response. This will be studied in first instance in three cancers of unmet need which have high levels of dormancy: oesophageal, sarcoma and brain cancer, together with collaborators from the UCL Cancer Institute, the Universities of Cambridge, Southampton, Glasgow and Cologne. Ultimately, this work aims to provide novel methodologies to integrate data from multiple sequencing and imaging modalities; and to test the utility of AI-assisted decision support systems in a clinical setting for cancer treatment management and circumvention of unnecessary side effects.