About Shona Cronin
Shona’s research within the CCRC focuses on creating a molecular construct that encodes a secretion signal (SS), a cell penetrating peptide (CPP) and a reporter tag. The SS and CPPs allow the integration of the reporter tag into cancer cells, which may then be visualised using fluorescence. As many currently available cancer therapeutics rely on the ability to penetrate the target cell, the aim is to eventually replace the reporter tag with the sequence encoding a toxic peptide to cancer cells. Utilising the naturally occurring bacteria of the tumour microenvironment as a vector to carry the recombinant construct enables accurate and specific targeting of cancer cells, while reducing the deleterious effects on normal cells.
Theme / Team
Microbes and Cancer
Biography Detailed: Shona graduated in 2017 from UCC with a 1st Class Honours BSc in Genetics. Her experience in research began when she was the only applicant in Ireland to be successful in obtaining the Biochemical Society Summer Vacation Studentship (UK, 2016), enabling her to carry out a Summer Research Project in the School of Biochemistry, UCC. Following completion of her undergraduate in May, she joined Dr. Tangney’s group as a volunteer researcher in the lab and will have completed well in excess of 250 hours voluntary research by Summer’s end. Shona was awarded the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, funded by the Irish Research Council to carry out an MRes with Dr. Kellie Dean of the School of Biochemistry, UCC. This work will begin in October and will analyse the molecular interactions of a non-coding RNA that has been shown to be highly up-regulated in certain cancer types, relative to normal tissues. Following discovery of these interactions, she hopes to analyse their function and contribution to the cancer phenotype.