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Dal PhD candidate among elite young scientists nominated to attend Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting

Posted by Elissa Barnard on December 11, 2017 in News
PhD candidate Simon Gebremeskel. (Jollymore photos)
PhD candidate Simon Gebremeskel. (Jollymore photos)

Award-winning Dalhousie PhD student Simon Gebremeskel is a pioneer in discovering how the immune system can fight cancer.

Gebremeskel is working with Dr. Brent Johnston in Dalhousie Medical School’s Department of Microbiology & Immunology to develop a cancer treatment that kills cancer cells by both activating the immune system and introducing viruses that kill cancer cells. This novel combination strategy — of immunotherapy plus oncolytic viruses — could be available within a few years.

“What's becoming clear in the field of cancer therapy is the majority of cancer patients should be looked at as patients who have immune deficiency,” says the Kenyan-born scientist, who did his undergraduate degree at Queen's University. “Normal cells in our body become transformed quite frequently into pre-cancerous or early-stage cancer cells. Evidence suggests the immune system is able to recognize these changed cells and clear them off.”

Read more on Dal News.