PhD Students

Diana Leite

Diana Leite, who comes from Porto, Portugal, obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences and her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Porto. During her Master’s thesis at INEB (Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, Porto), she became interested in the development of a controlled drug delivery system based on polymeric nanoparticles to promote bone regeneration. Currently – in her PhD studies at the University of Portsmouth, under the supervision of Dr Aikaterini Lalatsa, Prof Geoff Pilkington and Dr Eugen Barbu – she is focusing on the development of a nanomedicine for the treatment of malignant glioma. Using nanostructures derived from the self-assembly of peptide amphiphiles, Diana is developing a therapy for the delivery and targeting of antitumour and chemotherapeutics to glioblastoma.

Alison Howarth

Alison Howarth joined us in February 2016 from the University of Oxford where she held the position of Research Assistant/Lab Manager. She has a BSc (Honours) in Zoology from the University of Wales and an MSc from the LiverpoolSchool of Tropical Medicine. Alison’s PhD is funded by the Ollie Young Foundation. She is currently carrying out research into “The anti-neoplastic effects of repurposed drugs and PI3 kinase inhibitors on paediatric GBM and DIPG”.

For more information on Alison’s project click here.

Katie Loveson

Katie graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Forensic Biology. She undertook her Master’s degree in Biomedicine and completed her project in Professor Arthur Butt’s lab, investigating the regulation of stem cells via the inhibition of GSK3β. Katie undertook four months of volunteer work in the Neuro-oncology labs working on the role of MMP-1 in Glioblastoma Multiforme in the summer of 2013 and was subsequently appointed as a specialist technician, funded by Children with Cancer UK, involved in the investigation of GD3/GD3A  in paediatric Medulloblastoma. Katie will start her PhD, part-funded by the Ollie Young Foundation, in October 2016. Her research will help identify key host/tumour interactions and processes that drive DIPG growth that will lead to improved therapeutics

Chiara Moriconi

Chiara held the position of Junior Researcher at the Instituto Superiore di Sanita before joining the Cardiff/Portsmouth team in 2014. She is working on the “Role of Phospho-Caveolin1 in GBM stem cell differentiation and biological structures”. Chiara has an MA in Medial Biotechnologies from the Faculty of Medicine at the Catholic University of Rome.

Cátia Sofia Neves Neto

Cátia has a BSc in Nuclear Medicine from the University of Porto, Portugal and an MSc in Molecular Medicine and Oncology from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal. Before joining the Cardiff/Portsmouth team she carried out a project on the “Role of activated microglia in the acquisition of a stem-like phenotype in glioblastoma”. She is currently carrying out research into the “Role of Phospho-Caveolin1 in GBM radio and chemo sensitising”.

Joshua Pearson

Joshua Pearson joined the Nottingham Trent/Portsmouth team in 2016. He has a BSc in Medical Neuroscience and an MSc in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience from the University of Sussex. He is currently investigating HAGE-targeted immunotherapy for GBM.

Rita Buttrus

Rita Buttrus completed her Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy in 2008 at Hawler Medical University. She spent the next three years working in various pharmacy related positions in a number of hospitals. In 2011 she was awarded a scholarship from the Iraqi government in order to pursue postgraduate studies; she completed her Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science at Kingston University in 2014 and graduated with a distinction. During the following two years she worked as the manager of the Vaccines Department at the Directorate of Health/Ministry of Health/Erbil. During that period Rita supervised the national plan of replacement of tOPV to bOPV, which was coordinated by the WHO, and she volunteered as an aid worker in the IDP camps.

In October 2016 Rita started her PhD at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of the University of Portsmouth. Her research involves the synthesis of biguanides and an investigation of their therapeutic effects on brain tumours.