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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme


Department of Pathology


I’m Tasmia, a second-year PhD student at King’s College from the Netherlands. I first came to Cambridge in 2014 as a visiting Erasmus+ student at the Babraham Institute where I studied the function and dynamics of the enzyme AID in breast cancer, which ultimately formed the final part of my undergraduate training in Medical Sciences.

After completing my project in 2015, I maintained a strong interest in cancer research and received my BSc degree from the University of Applied Sciences Leiden with distinction. It was during this time that I was also awarded the Amsterdam Science Talent Scholarship, which encouraged me to pursue an MSc degree in Oncology at the University of Amsterdam. This two-year programme allowed me to acquire advanced technical skills through hands-on training at cutting-edge research centres such as the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Here, I validated a novel interactor of the androgen-receptor (AR) in androgen-responsive prostate cancer (PCa) and investigated how its loss affects AR enrichment on known AR binding sites as well as PCa cell growth. ( In 2016, I moved to Boston (USA) for a final graduate research rotation at the Harvard Medical School, where I studied mutated variants of histone H3.3 in pediatric high-grade glioma (pHGG). As available suitable in vitro models for pHGG are limited, I generated a panel of pHGG cell lines with controlled expression of mutated H3.3 to understand its involvement in gliomagenesis and radioresistance.

Following exciting results, I continued my research at the Longwood Medical Area for an extended period of time. I finally returned to the Netherlands in 2018 to take up a research associate position at Kite Pharma, where I worked on a high-throughput platform for the discovery of neoantigen-specific T cell receptors targeting solid tumours before embarking on my journey as a DTP student. Whenever I’m not in a lab, I will be involved in something related to photography or videography, whether that be editing clips in Premiere Pro or taking pictures of nature. I do also appreciate a good game of football or cricket. 


Project Title:

MicroRNA dysregulation in malignant germ cell tumours: more than a biomarker? 

Project Summary:

Germ cell tumours (GCTs) are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms that can occur at any age and are the most commonly found malignancy in young male adults. Despite the histopathological variability of these tumours, patients with late-stage malignant germ cell tumours (mGCTs) are mainly treated with chemotherapy. While most of these patients respond well to chemotherapy, some will be resistant or develop refractory disease. More importantly, many cured mGCT patients develop severe side effects after treatment with platinum-based agents to which children are particularly vulnerable. These challenges emphasize the need for further research into the mechanisms underlying germ cell tumorigenesis to identify novel targets for therapies that are more tolerable and provide an effective alternative for platinum-refractory mGCT patients. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have more recently become attractive targets for the therapy of numerous diseases, and their dysregulation is frequently found in cancer. In GCTs, a consistent downregulation of miR-99a-5p/-100-5p and miR-125b-5p is seen across the malignant subtypes, independent of tumour site or patient age. These miRNAs are thought to exhibit tumour suppressive functions in mGCTs, as indicated by earlier miRNA replenishment studies conducted in our lab. The current research project aims to establish inducible expression systems to primarily validate the anti-malignant effects of miRNA replenishment in vitro and also to investigate its potential as a therapy for mGCTs in vivo. 

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Professor Nick Coleman

Staff Photo

Contact Details

Job Titles

PhD Student