2016 Research Fellowship Award Recipient
Lymphoma Canada is pleased to award its 2016 Research Fellowship to Dr. Anja Mottok, a hematopathologist and research fellow at the British Columbia Cancer Agency.
Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is the most prevalent type of lymphoma affecting people under the age of 30. Despite the fact that most patients can be cured with chemotherapy, 30% still experience relapse and eventually succumb to their disease. There is now increasing evidence that not only tumour cells, but also the normal cells surrounding them (the “microenvironment”), are important for tumour progression. Over the past years a number of studies have contributed to the current knowledge about the mechanisms by which the tumour cells in cHL, the Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells, recruit immune cells to form the tumour microenvironment and manipulate them to be non-functional.
Dr. Mottok’s experimental program aims to identify and characterize genetic changes and molecular pathways that provide the rationale for targeting tumour microenvironment biology as a therapeutic approach. The goal of her proposed research project is to comprehensively characterize the composition of the tumour microenvironment in cHL and explore which genetic changes in the tumour cells might have an impact on microenvironment composition. Integration of these results will provide the unique opportunity to relate mutational composition of the tumour cells to the immune cell composition. By establishing a linkage between genomic alterations, microenvironment composition and clinical outcome, this research has the potential to lead to identification of novel biomarkers and their use in clinical practice.
Congratulations Dr. Anja Mottok!