Bridport: Former Colfox student Sally Dewhurst joins the frontline fight against cancer (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Bridport: Former Colfox student Sally Dewhurst joins the frontline fight against cancer
FORMER Colfox student Sally Dewhurst at 22 is the youngest PhD student at the London Research Institute funded by Cancer Research UK.
Sally wants to thank her home town for raising so much money to support the charity and making her research possible.
Last year Bridport cancer support groups raised £9,000.
One of the committees’ chairman Jane Harvey and Cancer Research UK shop manager Pat Blake paid tribute to the public’s generosity.
Mrs Harvey: “We are really lucky that the people of Bridport support us very well and having a Bridport girl doing research is really something to be proud of.”
After completing A-levels at Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester Sally was awarded a first class honours in Biology at Durham University and, after three days of interviews, was offered a four-year project at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields laboratories.
She said: “It is such a great charity to work for because everybody has heard of them and it is something you can be proud of doing.
“It is such a huge organisation, it is not just scientists, it is fundraisers, people who influence government policy, and people who support people with cancer and run clinical trials. The spectrum for the charity is huge because it is so well funded by the public.
“Each part is intrinsic to how the organisation runs. The public needs to understand what we do to be motivated to support us.
“Obviously the research is a challenge but an exciting one, it is hard because everybody here is so good. You are working among eminent scientists, like Nobel Prize winners and obviously that is quite daunting for a young PhD student but it is also inspiring because hopefully one day I’ll make a significant contribution myself.”
The 12 scientists in Sally’s translational cancer therapeutics lab work on mechanisms that lead to drug resistance in tumours.
She said: “Hopefully our work may mean we are able to design better therapies based on why patients’ tumours are not responding to drugs. Every tumour is different and even within a single patient’s tumour it can be different.
“We need a better understanding of what is driving that heterogeneity within the tumour in order to be able to target it effectively.
“Heterogeneity means there is actually evolution going on within the tumour and it is not genetically consistent.
“First it is important to understand that tumours are different and how they are different and also look at the bits that are similar and try and tease apart those similarities so that the whole tumour can be targeted.”