QASMT Students attending the SPARQ-ed Research Immersion program in November at the Translational Research Institute at Woolloongabba.

Martin Georges, Nikan Estah and Nikita Dalvi are all attending the SPARQ-ed Research Immersion program from 28 November to 2 December at the Translational Research Institute at Woolloongabba. They will work alongside other students on the project, “Dynamic tumour heterogeneity in melanoma therapy: exploring this using a novel model system.”

In this project students will work with Associate Professor Nikolas Haass’s model to identify what causes acquired multidrug tol¬erance in melanoma. Using the Fluorescent ubiquitination-based cell cycle indicator (FUCCI)-system, cutting edge imaging technology, participants will explore the biology of dynamic heterogeneity, which is critical for the develop¬ment of novel melanoma treatment strategies such as drug sensitivity and resistance.
Associate Professor Nikolas Haass is a clinician scientist specializing in skin cancers. His team specialize in three-dimensional cell culture models, which recreate the correct interactions of the melanoma with its tumour microenvironment and thus predict the effects of drugs on the tumour in a much better way than the conventional two-dimensional cell culture models. His team apply cutting-edge intravital multi-photon microscopy.
By the end of the week, these students will have gained invaluable laboratory skills and broadened their understanding of research and possible careers in the medical research field. QASMT students are encouraged to apply for the program to enrich their Academy experience. Participants can also gain a bonus rank for the University of Queensland if they complete a research report on completion of the Immersion program. More information can be found on the SPARQ-ed website

Anne Brant, SPARQ-ed Coordinator and Head of Department STEM Outreach