Andrew Todd-Hems

Hi, I’m Andrew from North Lanarkshire, Scotland. Following completion of a BSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology and MSc in Precision Medicine at the University of Glasgow, I was fortunate enough to be offered a place on The Fraser Fellowship DTP. I am based at the Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre, University of Dundee under the supervision of Dr Gillian Smith and Dr Michelle Ferguson. My PhD project focusses on studying inherent resistance to first line chemotherapy drugs in ovarian cancer patients. In other words, I want to find out why the drugs don’t always work.  A key component of my project is the use of the invaluable clinical samples generated from the Dundee Ovarian Cancer Study (DOCS). The overall goal of my project is to identify clinically relevant “biomarkers” that will allow for early stratification of ovarian cancer patients into those most and least likely to respond to certain chemotherapies. This would allow for better drug selection and subsequently reduce unnecessary exposure to toxic chemotherapy drugs in patients unlikely to respond to them.

I was initially attracted to pursue my PhD project in Dundee due to the great reputation that medicine has at the University of Dundee. Being located at Ninewells Hospital and having supervision from both clinical and scientific supervisors aligned with my goal of pursuing a translational PhD project. I have a great interest in the use of precision medicine in cancer and am greatly inspired by the opportunity to carry out a research project with this approach in mind for a disease as serious as ovarian cancer. I am extremely grateful to Ninewells Cancer Campaign (NCC) for funding my studentship.