Queen Mary scientist wins prestigious award

A scientist at Queen Mary, University of London was awarded the title ‘Top New Investigator’ at a recent international meeting for the study of fatty acids and lipids.

20 June 2012

Dr Zacharoula Nikolakopoulou, centre, with her PhD supervisors Professors Eric Kenneth Parkinson and Adina Michael-Titus

Dr Zacharoula Nikolakopoulou, who was jointly supervised by Professors Eric Kenneth Parkinson and Adina Michael-Titus during her PhD project, was awarded the prestigious prize for her work on cancer-preventing long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

The award was given to her at the 10th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids in Vancouver on 29 May 2012.

Dr Nikolakopoulou’s research showed that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, contained in oily fish such as salmon and trout, selectively inhibit the growth of both early and late-stage cancers and identified a marker of this process.

Dr Nikolakopoulou said: “It is a great honour to have received this award for my research. I really believe there is a great potential of the use of omega-3 fatty acids for prevention and treatment of skin and oral cancers.”

Professor Parkinson, based at Queen Mary's Institute of Dentistry in the Centre for Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences, said her results “may help the monitoring of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid-based clinical trials and also help the identification of related, but more effective, anti-cancer molecules”.

“Her observations have the potential to lead to a new approach to cancer prophylaxis and therapy, in particular in head and neck cancer. She thoroughly deserves this prestigious award.”

For media information, contact:

Joel Winston
Faculty Communications Manager (Medicine and Dentistry)