Yashar Mesbahi, mentee in the 2020-21 program in NSW (UNSW)

I am Yashar Mesbahi a current PhD candidate doing cancer research at the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI), UNSW. I was born in Iran and when I was six years old, I lost my grandma because of ovarian cancer. That was the first incentive which triggered me to study cancer cells and since the very first semester at BSc studies, I have been curious about the inner life of cancer cells; how they survive and become malignant tumours?

In 2013, due to excellent academic performances, I was awarded a full scholarship for a master’s program in Biochemistry and published several first-author articles in high-indexed journals of oncology and biology. However, I wanted to be familiar with the industrial aspects of my major and hence I joined one of the best pharmaceutical companies in producing probiotic products in Iran as a medical representative (medical science liaison).

Aside from these achievements, my dream was to collaborate with professional experts and expand my connections and networks in the field of medicine and pharmacology. I applied for hundreds of PhD positions to fulfil my desire in research and get to know what life of a scientist entails and eventually I got a prestigious governmental scholarship to research the UNSW, Sydney.

Here, at the CCI my PhD project focuses on metabolic plasticity and its contribution to disease relapse in paediatric patients with AML. This project is the first effort to be made so far in the field of metabolic reprogramming of paediatric AML which will be translated to clinical settings for national oncologists and clinicians.

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