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Dr Prerna Tewari

Job Title: Researcher
Position: HRB ICE Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Prerna Tewari was appointed in 2012 as an HRB ICE fellow with CERVIVA. She is based at the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital and the Department of Histopathology & Morbid Anatomy at Trinity College Dublin. She has extensive experience in cancer biology and molecular biology and has been actively involved in identification and evaluation of potential biomarkers for Head and Neck Carcinomas, Prostate Cancers and Childhood Leukaemia. In addition, she has worked extensively on understanding the genetic mechanisms that underline the development of Haematological malignancies. Prerna was awarded a PhD from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi India. Her PhD dissertation was based on identification of biomarkers in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas. Prior to her appointment as a HRB ICE fellow, she undertook post-doctoral training and research in the Department of Haematology, Trinity College Dublin. During her post-doctoral training, she identified germline variants in DNA repair genes which are linked with susceptibility to multiple myeloma in the Irish population. Some of these findings have immense significance for clinical management of patients. She has received a number of awards during both her PhD and post-doctoral training. She was awarded the Best Oral Presentation Award at the Haematology Association of Ireland 2007 and the Best Poster Award at the All Ireland cancer conference 2009. She also presented her research findings at the Royal Society of Medicine Dublin for the St. Luke’s Young Scientist Award. Recently she was awarded the Irish cancer society fellowship for attending IARC summer school in Lyon.

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  • HPV and biomarker screening
    HPV infections play a crucial role in the aetiology of cervical lesions. Various molecular assays have been developed to detect HPV. HPV DNA testing is already being used for the management of cervical disease. While it is generally accepted that HPV DNA testing is more sensitive for detection of cervical disease compared with cytology, it is less specific in particular in younger age groups, largely due to the high prevalence of transient HPV infections. As a consequence, the appropriate framework for HPV testing is paramount to avoid unnecessary testing and follow up. There is a clear need to improve the specificity of HPV DNA testing, and this can be achieved at various levels, including HPV genotyping and viral load assessment. An alternative approach is to triage with some form of secondary biomarkers. Several biomarker options exists for this including (1) measuring HPV E6 and E7 mRNA transcripts, (2) alterations to methylation patterns of several genes, (3) alterations of viral and host genomes (4) detection of cellular proteins overexpressed in HPV infected cells.

    Within this project, CERVIVA aims to address the need for additional triage markers for cervical screening through evaluation of a combined approach of HPV DNA, HPV mRNA, p16INK4A/ki67 and a novel panel of 20 mRNA biomarkers developed as part of an FP7 funded programme grant "AutoCast" in a colposcopy controlled study. The data generated from this colposcopy controlled study will support a primary screening algorithm of primary HPV testing followed by biomarker triage.

    This will be the first study to evaluate all three biomarker sets in a single population.

    Last updated 2015