Kavita S Subramaniam
Despite being categorized as a benign tumour condition of the uterus, uterine fibroids have been shown to affect approximately 30% patients to cause heavy menstrual bleeding. More than half of the patients experience symptoms such as pelvic pain and infertility. While this condition affects millions of women worldwide, it is still biologically poorly understood, hence presenting a high demand to fulfil the unmet medical need for innovative therapies.
This industrial link project between Bayer HealthCare and University of Oxford alliance focuses on investigating the factors within vasculatures surrounding the fibroids that could induce angiogenesis. The project aims to translate the findings from bench to bedside to eventually develop novel therapeutic targets for curative treatment of uterine fibroids. By achieving this, it is hoped that the findings from this research would be able to minimize the clinical burden for women suffering from this disease.
Kavita S Subramaniam
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
I started my research in the field of Women’s Reproductive Biology back in 2011 by enrolling for a Masters in Medical Science with University of Malaya, Malaysia. Following a conversion of the Masters degree to a Doctoral program in 2013, I completed my Ph.D in Gynaecology Oncology Research with a focus on tumour-microenvironment of endometrial cancer. We found that cancer-associated fibroblast, which is an activated form of fibroblast cells surrounding endometrial cancer cells promotes endometrial cancer growth via the Interleukin-6/STAT-3/c-Myc pathway.
In 2015, I also pursued a short internship with the clinical trial division of Novartis Pharma AG. Chosen from 540 applicants globally to join a group of 20 scientists for the Novartis AG’s Next Generation Scientist Program, I was part of the Clinical Development (Oncology) team at their headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. I worked in a global matrix environment liaising with CROs, key opinion leaders, molecular experts and pre-clinical investigators to evaluate and reconcile clinical trial data for a phase I and a phase III clinical trial. I had also built up a marketable strategy and business plan to propose and start early phase clinical trials for women suffering from endometrial cancer in Malaysia.
After gaining my Ph.D, I joined the Medical Research Council at Imperial College London in 2016, as a postdoctoral scientist working in the field of adult neurogenesis. During my brief time here, I studied the role of extracellular matrix in the sub ventricular zone of the brain in maintenance and switch between the quiescent and active state of stem cells.
Subsequently in late 2017, I started my recent postdoctoral project at the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, working with Dr Christian Becker, Professor Krina Zondovan and Professor Adrian Harris’s team to investigate the role of vascularization surrounding uterine fibroids.
Chung I. et al, (2017), Pharmacognosy Research, 9, 378 - 378
Wu YS. et al, (2016), Oncotarget, 7
Cancer-associated fibroblasts promote endometrial cancer growth via activation of interleukin-6/STAT-3/c-Myc pathway.
Subramaniam KS. et al, (2016), Am J Cancer Res, 6, 200 - 213
Chung I. et al, (2014), Tumor Biology
Preliminary study on the occurrence of PTEN and PIK3CA gene mutations in endometrial cancer among Malaysian women
Subramaniam KS. et al, (2013), Journal of the University of Malaya Medical Centre, 16, 1 - 5