UT professor Jurriaan Huskens is to become a Fellow at Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study.
The Fellowship will run from January till March 2019. The Institute of Advanced Study promotes interaction between scientists from different disciplines, as well interaction between the world of science and the general public. During his three months at Durham, Professor Huskens will be doing research on exosomes. These are minuscule vesicles that are secreted by all living cells, and that are involved in the transport of RNA and proteins.
In people with cancer, exome transport can be disrupted, preventing important proteins from reaching their destination. In addition, the exosomes themselves can play a role in the development of metastases and they can limit the efficacy of cancer medication. It is thought that the surface of the exosomes secreted by tumour cells is different from that of ‘normal exosomes’. Huskens therefore intends to spend his time at Durham University developing a chemical platform with the ability to bind specific exosomes, making it possible to examine them in isolation. He hopes that this platform can be used at a later stage to detect ‘suspicious exosomes’.
Huskens will work closely on this study with Dr Kislon Voitchovsky, a physicist. In addition to the scientific research he will conduct at Durham, Huskens has also been invited to give a number of public lectures.
Image: Rikkert Harink