Meet the Researcher: Shanshan (Jenny) Zhong

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  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself (i.e. name, current degree program/department, supervisor/lab, previous education/experience etc.).

My name is Shanshan (Jenny) Zhong, and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biochemistry at Western University, working under the supervision of Dr. Shawn Li. I completed my Master’s degree in Microbiology at Beijing University of Chemical Technology. I’m hoping that my current studies will help improve breast cancer treatment in the future.

  1. Why is the TBCRU Studentship Award important to you, and how does it advance your research? 

The TBCRU studentship award means a lot to me. It not only financially supports my studies but also allows me to join a big scientific family full of excellent young breast cancer researchers. In addition, with this award, I can devote myself to research and have more opportunities to collaborate with other researchers.

  1. What is the objective of your research project and what problem(s) you hope to solve? 

It is believed that immune cells in the body can stop the growth of a breast tumour. To avoid being killed by these immune cells, breast cancer cells use a protein called PD-L1 that helps the two cell type communicate or signal to each other. However, the way in which this signalling works is still is a mystery. My project aims to decrease this interaction by developing a new drug and evaluating its potential in treating breast cancer.

  1. In a few lines, please describe your research project.

My research project focuses on two main objectives. For the first objective, I am developing inhibitors targeting the breast cancer/immune cell interaction, which includes screening, optimizing and testing the feasibility of these inhibitors both in petri dishes and in animal models. For the second objective, I am using a sophisticated protein profiling technique called mass spectrometry to help unveil the secret behind the inhibitory signaling that breast cancer cells use to escape immune cells.

  1. Have there been any changes to or any advancements in your research since your project began? 

To date, I have identified a series of new inhibitors that can effectively disrupt the interaction between breast cancer cells and immune cells, resulting in reduced breast cancer cell growth in both petri dishes in the lab and in animal models. At the same time, I am also making progress studying the protein involved in this use mass spectrometry.

  1. Have you had an opportunity to present (or publish) your research to your peers or the broader research community? Was it at a national or international meeting or in some other way? 

During the past year, I presented my research to peer researchers in the Spring Symposium and the Biochemistry Graduate Seminar Series at Western University.

  1. If you received feedback following your presentation how has it helped you and your research?

I received some great, constructive feedback. My research relates to several areas, including immunology, chemistry, and biochemistry. The scientists from these different areas provided some great suggestions to help me improve my knowledge and provide me with more opportunities to develop my research.

  1. How will your research be applied in the clinic or in a real-world setting? How will patients benefit from the results of your work?

I am developing a new class of inhibitors that have demonstrated strong therapeutic potential in the lab. Hopefully, as work progresses these can translate to benefit breast cancer patients in the clinic, as well as allowing us to better understand the best ways to target the immune system in breast cancer.

  1. Tell us about your involvement in the Breast Cancer Society of Canada fundraising events (Dress for the Cause, Mother’s Day Walk). 

I am always enthusiastic about participating the Dress for the Cause and the Mother’s Day Walk. This year, I joined the TBCRU Team for the Million Steps to Mother’s Day Challenge and spread my goal to my fellows, friends and family.

  1. What are your hobbies? What are you currently reading, watching or listening to outside of the lab?

I am a big fan of skiing, hiking, running and camping. I also enjoy reading and watching documentaries when I am not working in the lab.

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A partnership with Breast Cancer Canada is a win-win. It improves employee engagement, boosts morale, fosters a tighter culture. It raises your organization’s profile and demonstrates your support for breast cancer research. To customers. To employees. To suppliers. Most of all – it makes a positive impact for those affected directly by breast cancer.

We’ll raise money for life-saving breast cancer research, together.

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Contact Charlene Politano today to get started.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 or 416-352-8567

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If you would like to explore other ways to give, we invite you to learn more.

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Join the Raise More Challenge

The more money we raise, the sooner we can end breast cancer. The more time researchers have in the lab. The more technology they can use. The more support we can get. Advancements in early detection and personalized treatment are in reach, and with your help to raise funds, we can find a cure sooner.

There are many ways to fundraise – whether you want to create a competition or tournament, fundraise with your team, challenge your colleagues, host a pink party, have a bake sale or cook-off, the idea is to raise more for breast cancer research.

Breast Cancer Canada will empower you with all the tools you need for a successful fundraiser, and if you need more information, contact Dawn Hamilton at: [email protected]  

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Support life-saving breast cancer research. A corporate donation is a simple and efficient way to demonstrate your corporate support.

To make a one-time or reoccurring corporate donation online, please click here.

If you would like to explore other ways to give, we invite you to learn more here.

Learn more about

Thinking about becoming a corporate partner of Breast Cancer Canada? Amazing. work with all types of organizations. We’ll help you deliver results which are measurable. National or local.

 

A partnership with Breast Cancer Canada is a win-win. It improves employee engagement, boosts morale, fosters a tighter culture. It raises your organization’s profile and demonstrates your support for breast cancer research. To customers. To employees. To suppliers. Most of all – it makes a positive impact for those affected directly by breast cancer.

 

We’ll raise money for life-saving breast cancer research, together.

 

Let’s talk about building your program!

 

Contact Charlene Politano today to get started.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 or 416-352-8567

 

To make an online corporate donation, please click here.

 

If you would like to explore other ways to give, we invite you to learn more.

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Support Breast Cancer Canada with a future gift to create a better future for breast cancer patients. Your gift helps to save lives through early detection and improve outcomes with better treatments.

 

or more information, please contact Natalina Hamilton: [email protected]

 

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Bequeath your policy to Breast Cancer Canada for the future:

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Register a significant difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer. Donate the proceeds of a registered account: Tax-free savings account (TFSA); Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP); Registered retirement income fund (RRIF). It’s a smart way to make a major contribution. Without reducing your current assets. Without subjecting the funds to probate fees. While reducing taxes on your estate through a donation receipt.

 

Making a gift like this is easy. Designate Breast Cancer Canada as the beneficiary of your registered account.  You benefit from the full use of your account(s) during your lifetime. We receive any remaining funds after your passing.

For more information, contact Natalina Hamilton: [email protected]

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Donating securities is becoming more popular, and supports Breast Cancer Canada just like cash donations. Gifts of publicly traded securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) are an easy, tax-effective way to make a contribution towards life-saving research that helps with early detection, better treatments, and ultimately  Securities can be of any size and given immediately, or you can bequeath them to Breast Cancer Canada in your will. Just like a cash donation, you’ll get a donation tax credit for your gift of securities.

Today, most securities are held electronically and are easily transferred from your brokerage account to our BCC brokerage account. Your Financial Advisor can make all the arrangements.

For more information, contact Natalina Hamilton: [email protected]

Bravery is beautiful. That’s why we encourage you to make a donation in honour of a loved one’s own experience with breast cancer. With your donation, we’ll send a letter to acknowledge the dedication to the individual or family.

 

Make a donation with an eCard:


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Volunteers are Breast Cancer Canada’s most important resource, and the backbone of our organization. From helping build our PROgress research to helping breast cancer patients, to supporting events, special fundraising projects and administrative tasks, our volunteers are dedicated to making a positive, life-changing impact.

We ensure our volunteers have the best possible experience and apply the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement.

You can help us end breast cancer by:

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Learn more about our volunteer driven Regional Hubs.

Regional Hubs are an integral part of Breast Canada Canada. We connect communities and those committed to our mission to make the goal local. Together, we can save lives through advancing breast cancer research, coast to coast.

Connect with Susan Penney, Community Engagement Officer to learn more about what is happening in your area: [email protected]