ICVS researchers win Oncology Research Fellowships

Diana Carneiro and Rafaela Oliveira, ICVS researchers at the UMinho School of Medicine, saw their work recognized with the attribution, by the Portuguese League Against Cancer (LPCC), of two Research Grants in Oncology.

The €12,600 funding granted by the LPCC will allow Diana Carneiro to develop the research project “Role of RKIP protein in the modulation of immune checkpoint blockade in HPV-related Cancers”.

This project aims to study the RKIP protein as a predictor of the response to immunotherapy in tumors associated with HPV infection, whose numbers have been increasing considerably. Clinically, this project may allow recognizing the potential response of a patient to these therapies by previously identifying the expression levels of the RKIP protein. This protein is an important tumor suppressor, which controls metastasis and the tumor microenvironment through the regulation of different signaling pathways. The project has the guidance of Dr. Olga Martinho, a member of the RKIP International Consortium, who has dedicated the last few years to the study of the RKIP protein in different solid tumors.

Rafaela Oliveira, on the other hand, saw funding for the project “Evaluation of Polygenic Risk Score in Colorectal Cancer Patients: A Genome-Wide Association Study”. This project aims to analyze the association between genetic variations (polymorphisms) and colorectal cancer, in the Portuguese and Brazilian population. Colorectal cancer is one of the tumors with the highest mortality rate in both populations. It is intended to understand how polymorphisms can influence the risk of developing colorectal cancer, and thus, to develop new forms of prevention and diagnosis of the disease. This study will be guided by Professor Doctor Rui Manuel Reis and co-supervised by Doctor Marta Viana-Pereira, both with a vast curriculum in this type of studies.