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Hayden Selvadurai

Ornamental stone carving

Hayden Selvadurai. Hayden Selvadurai
Student
Genetics

From writing for student newspaper Critic to DJ-ing for Radio One; from student politics to directing the capping show: it's a wonder Hayden Selvadurai has had time for study at all. But alongside these extracurricular activities, Hayden has found time to complete a double degree in genetics and marketing, and is now well on his way to a cutting-edge master's degree investigating the genetic basis of cancer.

"I'd found cancer genetics one of the most interesting subjects when studying for my BSc," notes Hayden. "So when funding became available to do my MSc in this area, I leapt at the chance."

Hayden's work involves a new method for identifying cancer stem cells, which recent research has suggested may be responsible for initiating and sustaining the disease.

"This may explain why tumours can recur following treatments such as chemotherapy," he explains. "These therapies target and destroy the out-of-control cancer cells, but not necessarily the stem cells responsible for causing the cancer in the first place. If the theory is correct, it could change the approach we take to treating cancer."

Now, with his MSc in its final stages, Hayden is looking to a future full of opportunities.

"I'm considering doing a PhD in the UK and then I could either get into research or perhaps work in a biotech firm. And I'm also interested in communication issues around science - showing the public how funding for scientific research can make positive differences."