Dr Samira Alliouachene
Before joining Barts Cancer Institute, I completed my MSc in Cell Biology & Physiology at the University of Paris. I then completed a DEA of Endocrinology at the University of Orsay. I then stayed at the University of Orsay to do my PhD in Cell Biology & Physiology.
Mammals have 8 isoforms of PI3K, subdivided into 3 classes. The focus of my laboratory has thus far almost exclusively been on the class I PI3Ks, which have been implicated in cancer, inflammation and diabetes. Very little is known about the class II and III PI3Ks. My research work is focused on the characterisation of the role of the class II PI3Ks in metabolism and cancer. As a main tool, we are using new PI3K class II null mouse lines, using a mouse gene targeting strategy whereby class II PI3Ks are inactivated in a drug-like fashion. It is hoped that this work will identify new drug targets and improve the specificity of current drugs in treating cancer or diabetic patients.
Life at the Institute
Living and working in an international research community such as the BCI is very stimulating. It is a great environment to work in, with a lot of opportunities to acquire various skills, to collaborate, to set up new networks, and to hear top scientists speak. BCI is a very friendly place to work with a lot of social events allowing us to meet people from all over the world.
I have obtained two prestigious competitive European grants: EU Marie Curie and EMBO to finance my research work.
Sometimes when experiments are not working as we wish. Those moments never last too long and are quickly forgotten thanks to the excitement that new discoveries bring.
I wish I had known that from the very many experiments carried out, only a few end up in publications. There is a lot of exploratory work to be done before scientific findings can be considered sound.
I would like to return to my native city, Paris, to set up my own research group. I wish to keep working in the area of metabolism and in this way keep doing the job I love.