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Dr Melania Capasso joins Queen Mary

Dr Melania Capasso recently joined the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation to develop her innovative research on the immune system and leukaemia and lymphoma.

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Dr Melania Capasso
Dr Melania Capasso

Dr Capasso’s is just one of a number of exciting new appointments at Barts Cancer Institute, part of Queen Mary University of London.

Her research centres on a type of white blood cell called B cells. B cells are an important component of the immune system but they can become cancerous, leading to chronic lymphatic leukaemia or B-cell lymphoma.

Both conditions can be treated with chemotherapy but a great proportion cannot currently be cured.

Dr Capasso is studying a protein called hydrogen voltage-gated proton channel which seems to be present in cancerous B cells but absent in their normal counterpart.

She believes that this protein may be helping cancer cells to thrive and spread in the body. If her research shows that this is the case, it could provide a valuable new method for targeting cancer cells.

The ultimate aim would be develop a much-needed new drug for treating these types of cancer.

Dr Capasso, moved to the UK from Naples in 2003. She comes to Queen Mary via the Institute of Food Research, where she studied antioxidants which occur naturally in hazelnuts and açaí, the University of Nottingham and Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit in Leicester.

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