Dr Sarah Bohndiek
Dr Sarah Bohndiek and her team work across the Department of Physics and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute at the University of Cambridge. They are developing new imaging tools to study the development and evolution of cancer.
Several of the imaging tools the team is developing will be used to study the supporting ‘microenvironment’ of solid tumours, which provides both chemical and physical signals to the cancer cells. The team aims to find out what role the microenvironment plays in the development of tumours and if it can help cancer cells become resistant to treatments. Dr Bohndiek and her team hope that the imaging techniques they are working on could be used to help diagnose cancer at an early stage and to identify cancers that have stopped responding to treatment.
One aspect of their work focuses on a type of test called an endoscopy, which doctors use to look inside our bodies, for example at cells in the oesophagus (food pipe). She is investigating whether different properties of light that our eyes cannot see are able to spot patches of abnormal cells in people with Barrett’s oesophagus – a condition that increases the risk of developing oesophageal cancer.
Spotting abnormal cells in people with Barrett’s oesophagus could offer a chance to remove the cells before they become cancerous, potentially preventing cases of oesophageal cancer.