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Winners of the prizes for the Best Doctoral Research Theses 2017/18

Press release issued: 5 December 2018

Six Bristol postgraduates have been awarded £500 prizes for the exceptional quality of their research degree theses.

An annual prize is made for the thesis considered to be the best within each faculty and for which a degree has been awarded in the relevant academic year. Internal and external examiners were invited to nominate suitable theses and one winner has been selected from each faculty by members of the Research Degrees Exam Board, which oversees the examination process for research awards. The Board is chaired by Professor Sally Heslop, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Studies)

Among the successful graduates was: 

Faculty of Health Sciences: Hanna Zielinska

‘Hyperglycaemia and fibronectin: the criminal partnership during breast cancer progression’
(Primary Supervisor: Dr Claire Perks)

Dr Perks describes Hanna as ‘incredibly industrious, an excellent scientist with great writing and presentation skills’ and adds: ‘her enthusiasm for her work is infectious: she has a passion for breast cancer research’. During her studies Hanna made the seminal observation that the combined exposure of hyperglycaemia and fibronectin induced epithelial breast cancer cells to undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) that was associated with a more invasive and glycolytic phenotype. She also delineated the pathway through which this occurred, which could open up new ways of treating this sub-set of breast cancer patients. The quality of Hanna’s PhD is highlighted by three first-author publications including papers published in Endocrine-Related Cancer (2016) and Cancer Letters (2018). Hanna is currently writing the final manuscript from the work in her thesis.


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