24 May 2017
Dr Alex Haragan, trainee Histopathologist in Cellular Pathology at Liverpool Clinical Laboratories, has been awarded a highly prestigious North West England Medical Research Council (MRC) Fellowship.
Alex will spend the next three years studying how the expression by lung cancer tissue of a protein known as PD-L1, which is used is to predict how these cancers will respond to the new immune modulating drugs, relates to other features of the tumour, such as the pattern and load of genetic mutations and the tumour’s immune environment. The ultimate aim of the project is to improve the predictive power of PD-L1 testing and permit more accurate and effective use of these powerful immune modulating therapies in individual patients.
Applicants for a Fellowship face tough competition with only the very best trainees and strongest projects being successful each year.
Professor John Gosney, Consultant Thoracic Pathologist at LCL,will be supervising Alex’s PhD and said, ‘LCL’s reputation as a centre of excellence in the genomic and proteomic profiling of lung cancer was undoubtedly a factor in the project’s success, but Alex worked extremely hard to create an excellent application: well done to him!’
The research, which is in collaboration with Liverpool University’s Institute of Translational Medicine and with Eli Lilly & Co, will also involve Alex spending time in the USA working in Lilly’s drug research and development laboratories.
Alex said, ‘Working closely with the University will bring the benefit of combining our expertise in traditional pathology with their cutting-edge technology. This is a tremendous opportunity for me. I’m greatly looking forward to the challenges it will bring and, of course, the exciting prospect of developing my skills and knowledge in the USA’.