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Salwa Lin

DPhil Student

Research Summary

Metastasis, when tumours spread to other organs in the body, is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Many extrathoracic tumours commonly metastasize to the lungs. Breast cancer lung metastases are often resistant to many types of therapy, including anti-angiogenic drugs and these patients have a poor prognosis. To investigate the mechanisms of vascularization that metastatic tumours utilize to grow and by which they develop anti-angiogenic drug resistance, we have used niche labelling and single cell RNA sequencing of endothelial cells. Vessel co-option, whereby tumour cells exploit existing blood vessels, was found to be one strategy. However, little is known about its mechanisms. Therefore, better understanding of this vascular phenotype could potentially help targeting these hijacked blood vessels for the efficient treatment of breast cancer and other lung metastases.


After her undergraduate study in Medical Laboratory Technology, Salwa was selected to join Taif University in Saudi Arabia as an academic faculty member. The university awarded Ms. Lin a prestigious scholarship to pursue her Master and PhD degree abroad. She completed her Masters in Molecular Genetics (2017) from University of Leicester, UK. Then, she was promoted to a lecturer in Medical Technology at Taif University. Currently she is a second year DPhil student and a member in the management team of an academic platform called, Saudi Academics.

Vascularization in Mouse Lung

Z-projection of blood vessels in mouse tissue labelled with anti-CD31 antibody (green). The lung tissue before (A) and after (B) optical clearing.


External collaborators

Ilaria Malanchi