The researcher at Fiocruz Bahia and deputy coordinator of the Graduate Program in Pathology (PgPAT - UFBA/Fiocruz), Clarissa Gurgel, was awarded the Newton Advanced Fellowship 2020, promoted by the Academy of Medical Sciences together with the Royal Society and the British Academy, UK. The award consists of participation in a program, which aims at connecting researchers from different areas, through innovative research related to global challenges, supporting the economic development and social welfare of the countries involved. In addition to recognizing the scientist's international insertion, the award expands and promotes the consolidation of cancer research at Fiocruz Bahia, through project financing, training, cooperation, and reciprocal visits between the institution and the laboratory of the University of Sheffield, coordinated by Professor Daniel Lambert, a specialist in the area of cellular communication involving cancer cells and fibroblasts associated with cancer.
“This award reflects the Capes-PRINT-UFBA Program that made it possible for Professor Daniel Lambert to come, in 2019, to teach, with me, the curricular discipline Cancer Biology a the PgPAT. We also participated in a meeting on head and neck cancer, involving specialists from Brazil, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Canada, promoted under a bilateral project Brazil-Canada (Global Affairs Canada-Capes-DFAT), coordinated by Sabrina Wurzba, from Mc Gill University, and Professor Ricardo Coletta, from Unicamp, of which I was also a member. We are excited about this award that comes to strengthen cancer research in the Northeast, with the involvement of Fiocruz Bahia and UFBA”, celebrates the researcher.
Clarissa explains that the cooperation with Lambert took place during a visit to Fiocruz Bahia, when the professor became interested in participating in a project designed by the researcher's group, which addresses the study of complex interactions between tumor cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts, causing tumors to be more aggressive and spread more quickly. In Brazil, the project will be developed by the Pathology and Molecular Biology (LPBM) and Tissue Engineering and Immunopharmacology (LETI) laboratories at Fiocruz Bahia, and by the laboratory of the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), headed by researcher Ricardo Della Coletta.
“The study of the relationship between the tumor and stromal cells is a growing and challenging area of research that attracts the interest of the pharmaceutical industry, for example, as we know that tumor progression depends on the interaction between malignant cells and the microenvironment. Over the initial 24 months, we will do reciprocal work assignments, in addition to having the opportunity to train undergraduate students at the University of Sheffield,” adds Clarissa.