Valentina Poltavets, mentee in the 2019 MedTech-Pharma program in SA (The University of South Australia)

Valentina is a PhD student at the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) in Adelaide. Following her undergraduate studies in molecular biology, immunology and biochemistry at the University of Adelaide, she has secured a research officer position in the Chemokine Biology where she studied the role of chemokine receptor dimerization in metastatic breast cancer. Inspired by this work experience, she has subsequently completed her Bachelor of Science degree with First Class Honours focusing on intracellular trafficking of chemokine receptors in breast cancer. In 2017, she has commenced her PhD in the Tumour Microenvironment Laboratory. Her research project is concerned with the growth and spread of breast cancers, in particular how immediate surroundings of cancer cells within a tumour (the microenvironment) can contribute to cancer development. She is using mouse models and advanced imaging techniques to study both normal development of the mammary gland and the complex interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment in hope that this knowledge will lead into improved therapeutic outcomes for the cancer patients.