Dr Zaynah Maherally
My international and diverse academic career began at University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia where I studied Biomedical Sciences and obtained a BSc (Honours). I then went on to complete a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Curtin University of Technology in Australia. I obtained my PhD in Neuro-Oncology from the University of Portsmouth where my project was to understand the complex machinery of brain tumour invasion and was focused on evaluating the interaction of poliovirus receptor (CD155) and hyaluronic acid (CD44) in the spread of tumour cells in intrinsic brain tumours. I also examined the effects of manipulating CD155 and CD44 with subunits of integrins. Following my PhD, I was employed as a Senior Research Associate to work on a project to investigate gene control in cerebral metastasis, which is now being continued by my PhD student. In 2012, I received a competitive worldwide travel scholarship to attend a brain tumour course at the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and in 2013, an award to attend the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology Meeting in San Francisco, USA. I am currently employed as a research fellow with a major research focus to develop a 3D ‘all human’ dynamic blood brain barrier model incorporating shear stress, flow conditions which simulate blood flow rates within vessels of differing diameter and to use the model (1) to evaluate passage of repurposed and re-formulated (for enhanced bioavailability to the brain) and novel drugs as well as a range of different nano-particulate delivery vehicles and (2) to understand the mechanisms involved in brain metastasis of breast and lung cancer cells.