PhD candidate helping identify tumour origin to influence patient care.
With a passion for biology and a personal interest in cancer, Xindi Zhang is hoping to improve patient outcomes by providing faster, more accurate information about the origins of tumours.
Zhang is a PhD candidate in Lincoln Stein’s lab at OICR where she is developing ‘DeepTumour’, a computational tool for tumour origin identification. Knowing the origin of tumours can help inform how to treat them, but Zhang says the current processes for determining tumour origin can be time-consuming and prone to error. She hopes that DeepTumour can help improve this process.
She is particularly interested in applying DeepTumour to blood samples, which can be much easier on a patient than traditional biopsies.
“More excitingly, it allows us to potentially identify cancer types at very early stages before the tumour becomes clinically evident,” she says.
Watch Zhang’s The Next Generation video to learn more about her work and her experiences as a PhD student at OICR.