“Working at the lab is great. I have been working as an analyst for nearly 30 years. No, it’s not common to defend your thesis when you’re in that position, but it’s always been one of my dreams to get my PhD. My thesis was about apoptosis; programmed cell death. We have been aware of this process for years, but tumor cells still manage to outsmart the treatment providers. They circumvent anticancer drugs by “blocking” their routes in order to survive. In the lab, I investigated whether a combination of irradiation and certain substances could kill these tumor cells after all. The combination proved successful for two out of three of the substances in the lab. I really like sharing this with people. I speak the “language of the lab” but find it easy to translate this jargon to regular Dutch. I wrote for C2W, a chemistry journal, as a science journalist for several years. Right now, I'm working as a clinical project manager at the scientific administration department, where I assist physician-scientists setting up their clinical trials.”
Shuraila will defend her thesis on April 13.