Jenasee Mynerich

Pathway 1+3

Cohort 2021

Pathway Journey

Early detection of radiation-induced cardiotoxicity using radionuclide molecular imaging

My project looks to develop radionuclide molecular imaging techniques to detect radiotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity earlier than current methods based on echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Off-target injury to the heart due to chemo- and radiotherapies for cancer is an increasing problem for cancer survivors, particularly those treated at a younger age. Unfortunately, this toxicity can take years to present clinically and is diagnosed when irreversible functional decline or structural damage finally manifests. I am therefore investigating radionuclide-based imaging methods which target early biological processes of injury, with the hope of detecting damage sooner, enabling timely modification of therapies as well as earlier readouts to accelerate development of cardioprotective strategies.

Biography

Prior to my PhD, I obtained an MSc in Radiation Biology from the University of Oxford where my thesis focused on development of a novel radionuclide imaging agent to track T cells in vivo. This was a natural progression from my BSc in Medical and Health Physics at McMaster University in Canada and the interdisciplinary research experience I acquired at TRIUMF, Canada’s national particle accelerator lab, and the DKFZ German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, Germany. At TRIUMF, I worked on cyclotron production of radioisotopes for cancer imaging and treatment, while at the DKFZ I studied cancer biology and investigated interactions between endothelial cells, tumour cells, and immune cells. These experiences fuelled my passion for multi-disciplinary research and provided the diverse skillset I needed for a career in radiation biology and nuclear medicine.

The MRC-DTP at King’s presented a unique opportunity to continue multi-disciplined and translational research with a collaborative mentality and built-in professional training.

Awards

Clarendon Fund Scholarship, University of Oxford, UK (2020)
Global Experience Award, McMaster University, Canada (2019)
Mitacs Globalink Research Award, Mitacs, Canada (2019)
TRIUMF Users Group Student Competition Award, TRIUMF, Canada (2018)
Bill Prestwich Scholarship for Medical Physics, McMaster University, Canada (2016)
McMaster Entrance Scholarship Award, McMaster University, Canada (2015)