Alina Capatina

Regulation of cellular metabolism and intercellular communication by sodium signalling

About me

I graduated with an MSci Immunology Degree from the University of Aberdeen in 2019. During my degree I had a few academic summer placements and a one-year long industrial placement at GSK. These experiences made me become more and more interested in lab work and research, therefore I decided a PhD would be the right choice for me. My current PhD project is very interesting due to its unique approach towards the very popular research topic of Cancer Immunology – it is studying the role of ionic interactions and ion channels in the crosstalk between immune and cancer cells. This project perfectly integrates the skills I developed in my undergraduate degree, as well as providing the challenge of learning about a completely new field – ion dynamics and Electrophysiology.

My project

My project investigates the role of ion dynamics in mediating the communication between the immune system and tumour cells. My aim is to investigate whether by disturbing ionic dynamics the immune response against cancer can be enhanced, leading to tumour clearance. This project is unique through its approach on cancer immunotherapy. Unlike the most-widely known immune-enhancing treatments for cancer, it is not focusing on protein biomarkers or cellular therapies, but it is investigating the role of electrolyte balances and membrane potential in cancer growth as well as in immune activation.