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Srdana Grgurevic - 2nd year PhD

From Croatia, Srdana Grgurevic is a 28 year old second year PhD student in cancer research in the labex TOUCAN. She specialized in the replication of DNA and work with Pr. Cazaux and Dr. Hoffman.

What is your research about?

I work on a type of Leukemia, more especially the chronic lymphoid leukemia. It is a type of Leukemia which is incredibly resistant and has a very high rate of recurrence. In fact, the current treatments do have an effect but there is something which surpasses and bypasses chemotherapies when it comes to the replication of DNA. I work on this mechanism.

I work on a type of Leukemia, more especially the chronic lymphoid leukemia. It is a type of Leukemia which is incredibly resistant and has a very high rate of recurrence.

   
Could you give us more concrete elements?

I study the enzymes implicated in the mechanisms of DNA replication and fixing. When these enzymes are disturbed, it leads to a disrupted duplication of DNA. Consequently, there is instability in the integrality of the genome which can lead to the development of a cancer. I analyze the dynamics of this process as I compare the mechanisms at work with normal cells and then with leukemic cells. In my project, I have developed methods to study this phenomenon to be able to understand what makes the leukemic cells resistant to chemotherapies.
   
What are the advantages of being part of the Labex Toucan?

This structure allows a large interactivity with other research teams. We constantly exchange. This brings a perfect emulation. For example, when you have an idea, you can challenge it with other teams’. We can then realize we are on the wrong track which allows saving much time. It is essential as research must go fast, not necessarily for science but primarily for patients.
   
Why did you choose to start a career in cancer research?

I wanted to work in a context which would allow me to make discoveries but also to be useful to society. Through these researches, we explore the founding of biology. We are then very close from people.  In addition, I am very pleased to be in Toulouse: it is a very dynamic city and we are to integrate the Oncopole which is going to become a reference research center in Europe.

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