Danick Martin, BSc
Supervisor:Dr. Gilles A. Robichaud
Program of Study:PhD, Biochemistry
Project Title:Role of Pax-5 Circular RNAs in Hematopoietic Cancers
Research Summary:RNA is an important molecule that is formed from DNA and is implicated in almost every cellular activity. Recently, an increasing number of studies have been published on circular RNAs due to their ability to regulate many biological processes including the development and progression of cancer. Our lab has recently identified several candidate circular RNAs for the Pax-5 gene, a known inducer of cancer cell behaviour (also called oncogenes). Our preliminary results demonstrate that the expression levels of these circular Pax-5 RNAs (circPax-5) increase and correlate with the onset of B-cell leukemia and lymphoma. Furthermore, we have cumulated evidence that circPax-5 is implicated in oncogenic processes such as cell death inhibition. In this study, we will define if the elevated levels of circPax-5 found in B-cell cancer lesions influence their inherent resistance to anti-cancer drug regimes. We will also attempt to elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to circPax-5-dependent drug resistance. This study will allow us to better understand the molecular biology behind circular RNAs associated with cancer progression and could help with the development of efficient therapeutic tools against this disease.
Scholarships and/or Awards:
- Patrimoine canadien 3e cycle 2021
- Bourse d'études supérieures du Nouveau-Brunswick 2021
- Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) Traineeship Award 2021
- Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) Traineeship Award 2018
- Bourses d’études supérieures du Nouveau-Brunswick STGM et Innovation sociale 2018
- New Brunswick Health Research Fondation 2018
I first started my studies in cancer research when I signed up for my honours thesis (2016-2017) and my Master’s degree (2018-2021) under the supervision of Dr. Gilles Robichaud, at the Université de Moncton and the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI). My honours thesis and my Master’s thesis focused respectively on the role of Pax-5 in NFAT-dependant regulation of breast cancer malignancy and on the role of Pax-5 circular RNA in B cells cancers. These projects led me to acquire knowledge in different disciplines in addition to gaining experience with various laboratory techniques in molecular and cellular biology. Looking ahead, I aspire to conduct cancer research after obtaining my PhD but I have not dismissed the idea of pursuing studies in a post-doctoral fellowship program. Regardless, I will put all my training, skill and experience to good use, advancing knowledge in health research.