Alana Cutliffe is a BSc. Human Nutrition Graduate from University College Dublin. She has worked in research-related roles in Queen’s University Belfast, the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre and the University College Cork School of Nursing. During her time at college, she received funding to undergo two laboratory summer studentships: one in the UCD Centre for Food Safety and the other in the UCD Nutrigenomics Laboratory. Under the supervision of Dr. John Mackrill and Dr. Sharon McKenna, and funded by Breakthrough Cancer Research (BCR), Alana started a Research Masters (Acid-stimulated, Ca2+ signals in oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC)) in October 2020. She received Irish Research Council and BCR Funding (2021) to extend the Research Masters into a PhD (end date: October 2024).
Alana’s PhD project focuses on the potential role dysregulated Ca2+ signalling plays in OAC and how such signals may be stimulated by stomach acid. She recently (2021) published a paper shortlisting six genes of interest in OAC (all genes were associated with improved patient survival). She is currently carrying out experiments on these genes to explore potential therapeutic avenues.