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van Heesch Group

Martina Jovancheva

Group: van Heesch Group

About Martina

I originally come from North Macedonia. I have finished my 4-year integrated master’s degree in Cell Biology at University College London (UCL) in the UK. I started off my journey studying BSc Biomedical Sciences at UCL. During these studies, I got really interested in cancer biology, which is why I decided to instead continue with an MSc degree in cell biology. The fascinating findings of my master’s project made me eager to furthermore pursue cancer research and ultimately led me here to this institute, where through the Butterfly program I have joined the lab of Sebastiaan van Heesch, where we are focused on better understanding and manipulating microproteins in the fight against childhood cancer.

My Project: Functional characterization of microproteins in pediatric cancers

My PhD project focuses on investigating microproteins within the context of neuroblastoma, a devastating pediatric cancer. These tiny, newly discovered proteins challenge our understanding of the human proteome complexity and offer potential insights into cancer. We aim to uncover the functional role of these microproteins in neuroblastoma, by employing cutting-edge technologies like RNA-seq. and Ribo seq. Ultimately, our research seeks to develop targeted therapeutic strategies for neuroblastoma, by harnessing the unique properties of microproteins.