Researching the cures


Congratulations DR Abigail Coetzee!

Huge congratulations to Abigail Coetzee - now DR Abigail Coetzee - who has been awarded her PhD.

Abigail’s four years of PhD research were funded by a PCRF grant, working under the supervision of Professors Hemant Kocher and Richard Grose at Queen Mary University of London. Their project aimed to find ways to block the signals that pancreatic cancer cells send to nearby cells which help the cancer to grow and spread. The study is now completed and a research paper detailing the exciting findings will be published soon.

In the months leading up to her PhD award, Abigail also won several prizes for her work, including best poster presentation at her Faculty’s annual awards day. She put her £200 prize towards attending a prestigious European Association for Cancer Research conference in Berlin, where she presented her poster to an international audience of researchers.

On top of her important research, Abigail’s helped raise over £3,500 for PCRF through a Christmas fundraising campaign at law firm LPC Law, in London, where several family members work. She also gave out PCRF pin badges as wedding favours when she married in 2018.

Prof Richard Grose, Dr Abigail Coetzee and Prof Hemant Kocher

“Working with a funder like PCRF has felt like being part of a big family,” says Abigail. “I feel really lucky to have had such a close connection to the charity that’s funded my research.

“I’m very, very grateful to have had the opportunity to carry out my PhD research thanks to PCRF supporters. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Our research is exciting and I really believe it’s going to provide benefits to patients in the future.”

Abigail has now secured a position as a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Richard Grose’s team and the University is no doubt delighted to retain such a talented young researcher.