In Sue’s Name’s £1 million commitment to help find a cure for GBM

In Sue’s Name’s £1 million commitment to help find a cure for GBM

Posted 22 November, 2021 at 17:27

Author Jessica McClory on behalf of In Sues Name


Back in 2017, In Sue’s Name set a target to raise £1 million by 2027 to support research at the Centre of Excellence funded by Brain Tumour Research at Queen Mary University of London. In Sue’s Name is a Member Charity of Brain Tumour Research.

As part of our commitment, In Sue’s Name is sponsoring a PhD researcher, Myrianni Constantinou, a valuable member of the team at Queen Mary, working to find more effective treatments for brain tumour patients diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

GBMs are the most aggressive and most common primary high-grade tumour diagnosed in adults and is the type of brain tumour which killed Sue Blasotta, the inspiration behind In Sue’s Name.

Due to complete her PhD studies in January 2023, Myrianni has developed models for validation of patient-specific drug matching, which the research team, led by Professor Silvia Marino, believe will contribute to fundamental new knowledge in GBM biology.

Silvia said: ““Myrianni is one of the best PhD students I have supervised in my entire career. She is enthusiastic about her research, always proposing new experiments and extremely well-read. Her work has contributed to a paper recently produced by the team and published in Nature Communications. Myrianni is now taking advantage of the models she has developed to characterise the role of a novel gene never before associated to GBM.”

Sylvia added: “Myrianni has great potential to grow and develop as a researcher and I am delighted to continue to supervise and mentor her to ensure she acquires the necessary skills, expertise and knowledge to become a fully-fledged researcher in brain tumour research.”

Myrianni herself is very thankful to In Sue’s Name for giving her such a wonderful opportunity and said: “Securing a fully-funded PhD position in the Neuro-oncology field can be a major challenge. In Sue’s Name has made it possible for me to achieve the first and most fundamental stepping stone for my future research career, and for this I am deeply grateful. With hard work and dedication, we have developed a model that can be used as a patient-specific drug-testing tool, but also to better understand tumourigenesis in GBM.”

Sue Farrington Smith MBE, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research said: “We are incredibly grateful to In Sue’s Name for its commitment to funding research at Queen Mary to help bring forward the day when a cure is found for GBMs. We wish Myrianni all the best for her continued career in brain tumour research. Her dedication and achievement to-date spur us on in our focus as the only national charity dedicated to sustainable research into brain tumours.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

David Taylor, founder of In Sue's Name, is from Winchmore Hill and is supported by many families who have lost loved ones, particularly within his local parish of St Monica’s in Palmers Green.

Related reading:

Queen Mary's recent GBM breakthrough, published in Nature Communications.

Sue’s story

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In Sue’s Name was founded in 2014 by David Taylor in memory of his beloved daughter Sue Blasotta, who died in 2011 of brain tumours. Sue was devoted to her husband Joe and their children Sasha and Daniel. She adored her career, first in recruitment with Reed Employment and then caring for ch...

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