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DC 11
Roufaida Bouchenafa

I am a junior scientist passionate about academic research in biology and biomedical sciences. I had the opportunity to experience two different scientific environments, first when I joined the National Higher School of Biotechnology in Algeria for my Engineering degree in Biotechnology. Then, I had the chance to succeed in my master’s degree in Applied Biology to Innovative Therapy and Diagnosis at Paris Saclay University in France. My scientific endeavour and all the enriching experiences I got threw me to pursue a Ph.D. at Newcastle University within an international program at MSCA DN to expand my horizons and excel in my career.

My Research Interests

My first scientific interest flourished at the age of 15 when I discovered biotechnologies.  I still remember how much I was thrilled about the interdisciplinary approach of biology, technology, and engineering. I was particularly interested in nanotechnologies and disease-targeting systems. Thus, for my Engineering research project, I developed bio-loaded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles and studied their release profile and cellular uptake. I collaborated with a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Research Centre of Biotechnology Algeria, and we launched the first team focusing on nanotechnologies for medical applications. Besides Nanotechnology, I had a keen interest in cancer immunotherapy. Understanding cancer resistance to classic drug therapy intrigues me to learn more about how activating the immune system can be a very promising tool for cancer treatment. During my master’s project, I studied the side effects of cisplatin, a widely used anticancer agent. Cisplatin is an alkylating agent that damages the sensory epithelium of the inner ear. The aim of the project was to screen a library of new protective molecules against the ototoxicity of cisplatin. Following this research experience, my interest in learning and applying my knowledge reinforced my ambition and passion for pursuing graduate studies and contributing significantly through collaborative research. Thus, I really appreciate the opportunity to be part of CHANGE program as a Ph.D. fellow under the supervision of Dr. Katarzyna Pirog and Prof. Michael Briggs. I will be studying musculoskeletal development and complications. Particularly, I will investigate the role of Kif22, a kinesin molecule, in the development and ageing of musculoskeletal tissues. This project can open new lines of inquiry in this field, and I want to use it as the foundation for a fruitful research career.

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