Dr Sharon Pattison has been awarded the 2019 New Zealand Society of Oncology Roche Translational Cancer Research Fellowship.
Dr Pattison is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago and a medical oncologist at the Southern District Health Board in Dunedin. Her clinical practice and research interests are focused around people with gastro-intestinal cancers, particularly upper gastro-intestinal cancers and neuroendocrine tumours.
The Fellowship has a value of $30,000, which provides an opportunity for cancer research teams to up-skill an integral team member. Dr Pattison has initiated a collaboration with imaging specialists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) in Melbourne to allow access to lattice light sheet microscopy, a novel way of imaging live cells over an extended period of time.
Dr Pattison and her team, based in the University of Otago, Dunedin, have been studying the immunoproteasome, a protein complex that is present in many cell types, and how this complex can influence survival from cancer.
“The exciting and novel technology at WEHI allows us to see cellular processes in unprecedented clarity and in real-time. By gaining a greater understanding of the function of the immunoproteasome we may identify another mechanism used by cancer cells to escape the immune system.” explains Dr Pattison.
If the results of this research are positive, they could be key to the development of new GI cancer treatments in the future.