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Professor Ainhoa Mielgo

My research

Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease and is predicted to become the second cause of cancer death by 2020. In pancreatic cancer, like in other solid cancers (ie breast, liver or lung), tumour cells are surrounded by a tumour microenvironment consisting of a large number of non-malignant cells, also known as stromal cells.  Stromal cells play an important role in cancer progression and resistance to therapy but the molecular mechanisms by which stromal cells support cancer progression are not completely understood. My research focuses on understanding the complex interactions between tumour cells and stromal cells in order to identify new combination treatments targeting both the tumour cells and the tumour microenvironment.

My journey

I always wanted to become a researcher. I met my husband while we were PhD students and thus, we always experienced the two body challenge. My two children were born during our post-doctoral training. This brought an additional challenge to my life, but being a mum also made me become more efficient and organised and did not stop me from pursuing my career in research. I always make the most out of my time, whether I am at work, or with my family, and I always pursue my dreams and persevere if they do not become true on my first attempt.