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HSIP 2013 Program

HSIP 2013 Group photo

2013 HSIP Interns (Clockwise from Left: Julia Milden, Gillian Briggs, Katrina Vizely and Andrew Styffe)

 

Development of immunohistochemistry tools for the research laboratory - Lead by Researcher Katy Milne

 

The main aim of this project is to develop immunohistochemical procedures for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded mouse tissues used in a variety of projects at the Trev and Joyce Deeley Research Centre.

 Like the work of the students before them, the contributions of the HSIP 2012 interns will help enrich many projects at the Deeley Research Centre that require immunohistochemical analysis.  Specifically the students first determined which in-house antibodies commonly used for our human studies would also work on mouse tissue, then they developed techniques to stain these antibodies reliably on mouse tissue.  This involved building a tissue microarray (TMA) by sectioning slides from various mouse tissues, performing hematoxylin and eosin staining then selecting regions of interest to core and construct the TMA from.   Once they had single colour protocols working, they began to look at multicolour IHC on mouse tissue.   They also performed literature and supplier searches to suggest antibodies to common targets that may be of interest to our researchers.

  In addition to developing protocols, the students also analyzed different components of the protocols to determine the most reliable, cost-effective method for use in the lab. They also performed other histology work as they would if they were working in a regular histology lab, learning about different techniques and the important role that histology plays in cancer diagnosis and research. They were encouraged to become familiar with tissues and tumours at the microscopic level and learned to recognize and distinguish different samples.  They were also involved in other areas of lab maintenance including assisting with maintaining safety and inventory records and in small projects designed to help maintain an efficient laboratory.

 

Effect of the tumor environment on the expression of the cancer testis antigen, lactate dehydrogenase C, in ovarian cancer. - Lead by Researcher Zoe Petropoulos and Carly Aspden

Cancer cells thrive on plentiful supplies of glucose and oxygen, two of the most fundamental nutrients that allow cells to grow and divide.  However, as tumors grow and get bigger they eventually outstrip the supply of these important nutrients, forcing cancer cells to adapt and acquire resources in a different way.  One way that this can be achieved is by turning on a gene called lactate dehydrogenase c or LDH-c.  This gene allows cancer cells to take up lactate from the surroundings and convert it into energy. LDH-c is normally only found in the male testis and not any other normal tissue, making it an ideal target in ovarian cancer. The goal of this project is to study how tumor cells turn on LDH-c. If this is successful, drugs or immune-based approaches to kill tumor cells that use LDH-c could be used to treat ovarian cancer patients.

 

 Meet the Interns

Katrina Vizely - Cedar Community Secondary School Katrina and Andrew

As a DRC high school intern I will be working under supervision of Graduate student Zoë Petropoulos and co-op student Carly Aspden in their research on Lactate Dehydrogenase C. LDHc is an enzyme involved in the conversion of pyruvate to lactate. We will focus on two main ovarian cell lines and subject them to different growth environments such as normoxia and hypoxia. The results will hopefully indicate whether oxygen is a key factor in the production of LDHc in the ovarian cancer cells.


Andrew Styffe- Esquimalt High School

This summer I will be working alongside Co-op student Carly Aspden and graduate student Zoë Petropoulos.  We will be focusing our research on the enzyme Lactate Dehydrogenase C (LDHc), which is involved in the conversion of pyruvate to lactate. We will be subjecting two ovarian cancer cell lines to normoxic and hypoxic environments, which will hopefully give us an indication as to whether or not oxygen plays a role in the production of LDHc within these cancer cells.

 

Julia Milden - Pearson College Julia Milden

 

 This summer I’m privileged to be working under Katy Milne’s supervision in the Histology Core of the Deeley Research Centre. My work will involve creating and enhancing multi-color immunohistochemistry protocols for multiple techniques and equipment that will be used on a variety of projects throughout the lab. These will be used to examine the reactions of different immune cell antigen specific antibodies on tissue samples through and will hopefully allow us to discover more about the interactions between cancer cells and our immune system.  I’m very excited for an amazing summer or learning, researching and discovering!

 

Gillian Briggs -Oak Bay High School

 

Gillian Briggs

  This summer I will be working with Katy Milne’s supervision in the Histology Core of the Deeley Research Centre. We will be working on multi-color immunohistochemistry protocols for multiple techniques and equipment that will be used on a variety of projects throughout the lab.  These protocols will be used to examine the reactions of different immune cell antigen specific antibodies on tissue samples through and will hopefully allow us to discover more about the interactions between cancer cells and our immune system. I am very happy to have this opportunity and work among these experienced scientists.