ASEF Junior Fellow Uroš Prešern Presented His Research Work on a Topic That Attracted Him Already in High School
As part of the ASEF Young Minds popular science lecture series, ASEF, in collaboration with LokalPatriot, organized a biochemically colored lecture entitled Metastasis and Invasion: When Cancer Cells Decide to Leave Home. The lecture was given by ASEF Junior Fellow Generation 2019 Uroš Prešern, who the day before had successfully defended his master’s thesis at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana and thus obtained the title of Master of Biochemistry.
Uroš discovered his joy of biochemistry and research during his high school years while writing a research paper at the Jožef Štefan Institute. He continued his research career at the Department of Biochemistry, where he participated in the research of the signaling role of the tumor marker EpCAM. With the new academic year, he will enroll in doctoral studies, where he also wants to continue studying the processes in cancer cells and finding new potential treatments. In the initial part of the lecture, Uroš presented his ASEF research visit to the USA, which he made at the University of California, San Francisco, in the laboratory of Professor Andrej Šali.
He also mentioned the special experience of living with a Slovenian family and integrating into the Slovenian community in California. In the continuation of the lecture, the lecturer explained to us exactly what we mean by the word cancer and how cancer developed during evolution. He also described how the disease occurs at the molecular level and what types of cancer we know. The lecture continued with a description of the key properties of cancer cells and then focused on metastases and explained the course of the multistage process of metastasis including the exit of cells from primary tumor tissue, circularization and colonization of cells in the new environment. In the last part of the lecture, Uroš presented his research work in the field of epithelial cell adhesion molecule EpCAM and its role in cancer.
He concluded the lecture by presenting the possibilities and limitations of developing new therapies for the treatment of metastases. Gašper Beg, a representative of the co-organizers of the event, the director of the LokalPatriot institute from Novo mesto, where our lecturer comes from, presented the activities of the institute in the youth field.
The event was mdoerated by ASEF Junior Fellow 2021, Lea Knez.