Gonçalo Ferreira

PhD Student (PD/BD/135055/2017) (2017-2021)
PhD Programme: Radiation Biology and Biophysics


Research Areas

PhD Thesis: "DNA sequence-specific radiosensitisation"

Adviser: Prof. Doutor Jonh Golding

Current radiotherapy treatments cause stochastic damage to cellular DNA. Depending on the locations of the induced-radiation damage in the genome, the cell may be destroyed, may mutate further to become more malignant, or may acquire radioresistance. An ideal situation would be to target damage to specific DNA sequences that are over-expressed and critical for the survival of cancer cells, but less important for normal cell survival. We have designed and validated oligonucleotide sequences that insert into cancer-critical genes. These oligonucleotides now require testing with an added nanoparticles or chemical radiosensitisers. The project will develop and validate this DNA sequence-specific radiotherapy technology, initially using DNA plasmids, but then comparing cancer and normal cell lines. These experiments will bring together fundamental research with direct application in the clinic.