Student Secures Grant from Biochemistry Society to Aid Cancer Research


Kayleigh Cruickshank, a second year Biochemistry student, was awarded a summer vacation studentship by the Biochemical Society.

The £1,600 bursary will fund Kayleigh's research into Hedgehog Signalling Pathway components and other proteins frequently associated with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia; a continuation of the research done by Dr Amy Cherry, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Worcester.

The Hedgehog Signalling Pathway is a series of interactions of molecules which occurs within cells and gives them the instructions to grow and divide. The pathway is very active when an embryo grows but is mainly inactive in adults. When it becomes overactive at the wrong time this can cause cells to grow and multiply too much and this can cause cancer.

Kayleigh, with the help of Dr Cherry, is going to investigate whether some of the molecules involved in the Hedgehog Signalling Pathway interact with some molecules which are known to malfunction in leukaemia. This could help them to understand the events which take place during leukaemia development and may identify new drug targets.

The studentship has been awarded in recognition of the strength of the Biochemical research which is now ongoing at the University of Worcester.

"It's exciting," said Kayleigh. "The odds of getting this studentship was extremely unlikely so I was very surprised when I received the news. I feel very fortunate and grateful to Dr Amy Cherry for helping me and giving the opportunity to apply.

"Not only am I getting additional lab experience that I wouldn't have had the chance to do otherwise. I am putting myself in a position to be better prepared for my independent study, as well as helping me prepare for a PhD. This opportunity adds something to my CV that will help me apply for work after my degree and now I will get a real idea of what to expect in a career in science."

To follow Kayleigh's progress throughout her studentship, she is writing a daily blog where you can see what she has been up to.