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Exploring a novel preventative therapy to reduce breast and ovarian cancer risk in high-risk individuals

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Friday, 19 February 2021
Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
Pathology and Biomedical Science (Christchurch)
Dr Vanessa Lattimore, Associate Professor Logan Walker


Prevention is the ideal strategy for reducing the impact of breast and ovarian cancer. Prophylactic surgery is an effective option for minimising risk in individuals who are genetically predisposed to these diseases, however, it has considerable impacts that reduce quality of life of the patient. Antisense oligonucleotide therapy has been successful in reversing the symptoms of degenerative disorders by altering gene splicing. This study investigates whether can eliminate the impact of high-risk genetic variants by modifying splicing using antisense oligonucleotides. This project will lay the foundation for the development of novel risk-reducing therapies to prevent cancer in genetically predisposed individuals. The research project involves several molecular techniques including RT-PCR, qPCR and cell culture.

Preferred student expertise

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

Further information

This is one of a number of projects on offer for the 2021 intake of BBiomedSc(Hons) at the University of Otago, Christchurch campus.

UOC BBiomedSc(Hons) website

Dr Vanessa Lattimore’s profile 

Associate Professor Logan Walker's profile 

Mackenzie Cancer Research Group website 

Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science website 


Dr Vanessa Lattimore
Tel   +64 3 364 0557