The National Children’s Research Centre (NCRC) wishes to congratulate Dr. Olga Piskareva on her recent appointment as an RCSI StAR (Strategic Academic Recruitment) Research Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine. Through the StAR Programme, RCSI aims to recruit and develop emerging research talent in the areas of Cancer, Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders, Population Health Services, Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine, Surgical Science and Practice, and Vascular Biology, with the aim of accelerating the transfer of research breakthroughs into clinical practice.
On her appointment, Olga commented “I am delighted to be appointed as a StAR Research Lecturer within the RCSI Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine and the Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) headed by Prof Fergal O’Brien. In the new role, I will continue research focused on neuroblastoma biology, an aggressive childhood cancer, building upon the expertise available in RCSI, TERG and Advanced Materials & Bioengineering Research (AMBER) Centre. I aim to establish a translational paediatric drug oncology discovery and development programme with two essential components (a) hypothesis-driven and (b) technology development. The hypothesis-driven arm will seek to understand how neuroblastoma cells acquire the ability to migrate and colonise distant organs during metastasis using exosomes advancing my current NCRC funded research. The technology development arm will be focused on the advancement of the recently developed 3D in vitro tissue-engineered neuroblastoma model for paediatric oncology drug screening“.
Olga is funded through the NCRC’s Paediatrics Research Project Grant scheme to study neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. She is particularly interested in extracellular vesicles (small membrane-bound particles released by cells) and their potential to be used as biomarkers of a patient’s response to treatment. Regular updates on Olga’s research can be found on her website.