It has been a busy day, for those who rushed from Wilsede back to Hannover for Razan’s defense. Congratulations to Dr. Razan Jammal, who graduated today from the HBRS Molecular Medicine PhD Program. She received a magna cum laude for her thesis “The miR-193 family reduces leukemic proliferation through interference with the Raf-MEK-ERK pathway”.
In the last 20 years since their discovery, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been established as master post-transcriptional orchestrators of gene expression. During her PhD, Razan has focused on the miR-193 family members miR-193a/b as tumor supressors in AML. She showed that miR-193a/b decrease growth and enhance differentiation across cytogenetic subgroups of AML cells, with similar growth-inhibitory effects in normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Further, she identified several miR-193 targets within the notoriously difficult-to-drug MAPK pathway, which is frequently activated in leukemia and other cancers. The development of miR-193-based therapeutic strategies represents a promising opportunity for new cancer treatments.
Together with our collaborators in Ulm, Razan submitted a manuscript on the miR-193 family members in pediatric and adult AML. She now works nearby, at Sysmex Europe in Hamburg.