In 2015, Caitlin Miron, a Queen’s University PhD student made a key discovery. She identified a chemical compound which could be effective in targeting cancer cells and preventing their growth and metastasis. It could also be applied to other diseases including HIV.
This is an exciting discovery because researchers have been trying for years to find DNA binders with properties like this one. “We’ve essentially found a superglue that keeps the ‘knots’ in place and prevents the ‘beads’ from reaching the section of
DNA where they can grow and spread cancer cells,” Miron said.
She also stated that this compound could also have a high impact on a quadruplex in a part of the HIV DNA that’s responsible for infection. The next step is to determine the best way to adapt this compound for use in humans.
Miron is also the recipient of the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation – PhD in Ottawa.
In this video she shares what happened while she serving an internship under Jean-Louis Mergny, research director at the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology in Bordeaux, France.