Researcher Profiles

Name: Riley Feser
Program and Year: 2020 Master’s Studentship
Project Title: MicroRNA-High Tumor Proteome Analysis to Identify Novel Breast Cancer Biomarker
Supervisor: Dr. Mousumi Majumder
Department of Biology, Brandon University

Synopsis: Previous findings strongly suggest that microRNA 526b/655 promote aggressive breast cancer and that they’re detectable in the blood. In tumor cells, approximately 30-40% of the proteins are known to be secretory proteins. Thus, a microRNA-high tumor cell secretory protein analysis will identify novel proteins controlling these aggressive cancer traits, further confirming the use of microRNA-protein combination as early detection markers for breast cancer.

What will the impacts/benefits be to you as a researcher or to Manitobans/Canadians or both?

One in eight women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. But early detection of the disease can save the life of 99% of breast cancer patients. Identification and validation of a biomarker will facilitate early detection of breast cancer. Primary breast cancer screening starts at age 50 in Canada, but incidences continue to rise in younger populations. In the future, this project aims to develop a blood test kit which will identify early incidences of breast cancer in the overall population.

What do you hope to achieve at the end of your project?

I hope to identify protein biomarker that will further strengthen the use of microRNA-protein combination as early detection markers for breast cancer, ultimately reducing the number of breast cancer fatalities in Manitoba, Canada and the world.

How will the funds you received through your Research Manitoba award help you accomplish your research?

I am extremely grateful for being chosen for the Research Manitoba Master’s Studentship Award. The funds I received through this award allow me to focus on my project full-time, without having to worry about obtaining income through any other means. This is an excellent opportunity for any researcher that is avid about their work to have that as their sole outlook throughout the duration of the award. This project wouldn’t be possible without the help of Dr. Mousumi Majumder, Sujit Maiti, Brady Nault and the rest of Majumder Lab.