Project 13: Investigating the relevance of EVs in breast cancer
Host Institution: Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Francesca Loria achieved her Bachelor of Science (BSc)’s Degree (Hons) in Biotechnology at the University of Palermo (Italy) in 2013. Her undergraduate research training was aimed at characterizing the miRNA profile of exosomes released under hypoxic conditions by the chronic myeloid leukaemia cell line LAMA84. After several months spent in Dublin to improve her English language skills, she applied for a 2-year research-oriented Master of Science (MSc) course in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), which required the conduction of two independent research training activities accompanied by theoretical and practical courses. During her first Master’s research project, she had studied in vitro and ex vivo the role of the of microRNA-23 family members (miR-23b, -24 and -27b) in endothelial dysfunction under cardiac fibrotic conditions. Differently, her second Master’s research training activity was focused on investigating the potential involvement of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in glioblastoma stem cell differentiation. From June 2017 to February 2018, she worked first as a trainee and then as a lab technician at Exosomics Siena S.p.A., a biotechnology company developing and validating new-generation EV-based products for early cancer screening, diagnosis and monitoring.
Why are you doing a PhD?
She decided to embark on the ESR PhD fellowship in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN training program in extracellular vesicles (EVs) “TRAIN-EV” to enhance her knowledge on EV biology and their potential application in cancer therapy, acquiring a deeper technical expertise in EV research methods and improving her research-conducting skills to conduct one day her own independent high-quality EV research.
In her free time, Francesca enjoys eating a lot (so required for a PhD), reading books (H. Hesse all life!), listening to any types of music (Radiohead are the best), watching movies (the more tangled they are, the more they are appreciated) and swimming (when she really cares about herself!).