University of Cambridge, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
I qualified as a medical doctor from the University of Malta in 2004. I worked as a clinician in Malta and Australia for 3 years before moving to England to start my training in clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. I am currently ‘out of programme’ from my clinical training in order to carry out scientific research.
My research focuses on identifying molecular events involved in the development of Ovarian Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma (OCCA) and Ovarian Endometrioid Adenocarcinoma (OEA) from endometriosis. Some studies suggest that endometriosis, a benign condition is a plausible precursor of OCCA and OEA, and there is some molecular data to support this (Wiegand et al, 2010).
One of my main experiments focuses on identifying the frequency of mutations in 40 genes in DNA extracted from fixed OCCA and OEA tissue. I will then identify the frequency of co-incidental mutations in endometriosis from the same patients. My Other main experiment aims to study the effect of mutations in Arid1a (a tumour suppressor gene) in endometrium by knocking down Arid1a using a lentivirus method. This research will increase our knowledge of the function of Arid1a in normal endometrium and its role in the development of OCCA and OEA from endometriosis.
A better understanding of the molecular profile of these tumours may further our knowledge of the pathogenesis of these tumours. This may, in the future, help in the development of improved preventative and therapeutic strategies, which could improve the outcome for the patients affected by these cancers.