New PhD student begins work on YBTC-funded research at University of Sheffield

New PhD student begins work on YBTC-funded research at University of Sheffield

Wed 09 March

Kelsey Wosnitzka, a student from the University of Liverpool, beat out fierce international competition to be awarded a prestigious scholarship from the University of Sheffield.
Kelsey impressed the academic panel from across the Medicine faculty in order to win the scholarship, which covers her tuition fees and stipend.
She has recently started working on a YBTC-funded research project, led by Ola Rominiyi and Spencer Collis, which investigates common weaknesses in glioblastoma cells taken from various areas within a single tumour. The project hopes to fast track new, more effective treatments into clinics by finding similarities within difficult-to-treat tumour cells. To read more about the research, click here.
Kelsey said: “It’s been really exciting to start my PhD in Sheffield, helping to carry out much needed research in a field so desperate for scientific progression and financial support.
"The work supported by YBTC should make an astounding difference to the lives of glioblastoma patients and their families - it is an honour to be the recipient of such crucial funding, and I can only hope that I generate some solid and meaningful data throughout my PhD.”
Ola Rominiyi said: “We know that differences in how different parts of a tumour respond to current treatment contributes to the cancer coming back and poor survival rates. Using ‘neuronavigation’ (which works similar to SatNav and helps pinpoint locations on a MRI scan during surgery) these studies will start to build a road map of how different cells respond to treatment based on their specific location within a tumour.

"The studies should highlight any potential ‘Achilles’ heel’ shared between different groups of difficult-to-treat cells. This will help develop new, more effective ways to treat glioblastoma which tackle all parts of the tumour. Our team is incredibly grateful to YBTC and supporters of the charity for making this project possible and we will keep driving this work forward to improve outcomes for our future patients.”
The project received investment from YBTC’s 18th Birthday pot of funding. It’s part of an ongoing relationship between YBTC and hospitals and neuro-oncology labs across Yorkshire. Previously, YBTC’s Patient Advisory Group members fed back on a poster designed by the Sheffield team, designed to inform patients of the benefits of tumour tissue donation. The poster was completely redesigned in line with our group’s feedback – the new design can be found here.

Kelsey, Ola and Spencer will be speaking at our Yorkshire Brain Tumour Symposium on Tuesday 5th July, giving us an update on the project. To find out more and book a place, click here.
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