Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Do viruses cause breast cancer?

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Friday, 23 February 2018
Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
On-campus or via distance?
Pathology and Biomedical Science (UOC)
Dr Logan Walker, Dr Margaret Currie, Professor Ann Richardson, Dr John Pearson


Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer, and leading cause of cancer death, in women worldwide. The causes of breast cancer are not fully understood. We have carried out previous research which suggests that late exposure to certain viruses (in adulthood rather than childhood) may increase breast cancer risk. This study will use an innovative approach to test breast cancer tissue samples for the presence of genetic material and ‘molecular fingerprints’ of these viruses. If there is a link between viruses and breast cancer it could lead to the targeted treatment or prevention of a significant proportion of breast cancer.

The research project will explore breast cancer specimens from our local Cancer Society Tissue Bank using several molecular techniques, including qPCR, next-generation sequencing and RNA in situ hybridisation.

Preferred student expertise

A science student with an interest in molecular biology and genetics and who has laboratory experience.

Further information

This project is one of the many available for the 2018 intake of BBiomedSc(Hons) at the University of Otago, Christchurch campus.


Dr Logan Walker
Tel   +64 3 364 0544