Dr Serena is being honoured with the Dr Josef Cancer Research Prize 2019 for her breakthrough research which enables new possibilities of cancer treatment.
The Dr Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award is a prestigious science prize which aims to honour outstanding cancer research in the biological, basic medical, clinical diagnostic and therapeutic fields.
The UK-based scientist will be receiving the award at the University of Bern in Switzerland today with her collaborators from the University of Cambridge, Dr Paul Calleja and Dr Ignacio Medina.
Their research is titled “Accelerating holistic cancer genome interpretation towards the clinic” and will also be presented during the ceremony.
The study accelerates the holistic interpretation of the cancer genome by finding that mutations in cancer tumours can be analysed using new bioinformatic methods, thus, enabling new approaches to targeted therapies.
FYI, Targeted therapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs.
It is different from traditional chemotherapy because targeted therapy works by targeting the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival.
Doctors often use targeted therapy together with chemotherapy and other treatments.
Upon receiving the news of her achievement, congratulatory messages from Malaysians began pouring into the scientist’s inbox.
My WhatsApp, FB & twitter accounts have exploded!— Serena Nik-Zainal (@SerenaNikZainal) October 17, 2019
Please forgive delayed responses!
Altho’ I am going to🇨🇭pick up this #JosefSteiner award, it represents collective effort, laughter, tears, enthusiasm, passion, energy, hard work from my wonderful #TEAM 😭 #WishUWereWithMe pic.twitter.com/E32Yon7Ve3
Dr Serena’s accomplishment also caught the eyes of the Malaysian government and its Cabinet too.
Dr Serena graduated with a degree in medicine from the University of Cambridge in 2000 on a scholarship from Petronas.
She then pursued her PhD exploring breast cancer using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) at the Wellcome Sanger Institute (WSI) in 2009, and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship in 2013.
She continued to develop particular expertise in the analysis and interpretation of WGS tumours and received another award in 2017, this time the CRUK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship.