Young researcher awarded for PhD thesis

Dr Antoun Al Absi has been awarded a prize for his outstanding PhD thesis by the Strasbourg Society of Biology. Dr Al Absi conducted his PhD project at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), funded by an FNR AFR grant. 

Antoun carried out his PhD from 2014 to 2018 at the Cytoskeleton and Cancer Progression Research Group in the Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research at LIH’s Department of Oncology under the supervision of Dr Clément Thomas. In July 2018, he successfully graduated from the University of Strasbourg where he has been enrolled at the Doctoral School of Life and Health Sciences. Antoun has also been featured in the campaign Spotlight on Young Researchers.

The young researcher investigated the role of the actin cytoskeleton in breast cancer cell resistance and identified a previously unknown mechanism named the “actin response”. It leaves tumour cells unharmed by Natural Killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity, one of the body’s immune responses against abnormal cells. The molecular players of the actin response may be interesting targets for new therapeutic strategies. The PhD project led to a first-author publication in the renowned journal Cancer Research in August 2018.

Dr Al Absi was invited to present his PhD findings and future perspectives during the Doctoral School Days 2019 of the Doctoral School of Life Sciences and Health of the University of Strasbourg. At this occasion, the “Société de Biologie de Strasbourg” honoured him with a Thesis Prize given each year to promising young PhD holders in the field of biology. His thesis was selected following thorough reviewing by the Executive Board of the society. Dr Al Absi was one of eight awardees, each receiving the Thesis Prize from a different sponsor.

“I am more than proud to receive the Thesis Prize, knowing that my work was selected among more than 100 applications. I am thankful to my PhD supervisor and the research team for their invaluable support that led to the research results I presented today”, Antoun Al Absi commented.

About the Strasbourg Society of Biology

This learned society was created in 1919 based on the model of the national “Société de Biologie” in Paris. Its mission is to promote scientific knowledge in biology and act as a platform of exchange between the scientific community and society. This year, the SBS held the 20th edition of the Thesis Prizes Ceremony.

This news was adapted from a news story on the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) website

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