Botnar Research Centre, Old Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LD
Young Eun Park
Postdoctoral Research Associate
I obtained a PhD from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. My PhD focused on evaluating endocrine peptides to enhance bone formation, and investigating targeted delivery systems of growth factors to support local bone regeneration.
With my background in bone biology, my current research investigates the interactions between tumour cells and the host bone marrow microenvironment. In the Bone Oncology group led by Professor Claire Edwards, I am researching the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving the progression of multiple myeloma within the bone.
My research focuses on investigating the relationship between adiposity and multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a type of bone marrow cancer, and it is the second most common adult hematologic malignancy with approximately 4,000 new cases diagnosed per year in the UK. Most patients with myeloma will experience periods of sustained response or remission followed by relapse. When multiple myeloma relapses, it doesn't respond to the same therapies that worked before and the malignancy is ultimately fatal.
Obesity is one of the greatest risk factors for myeloma, yet a comprehensive understanding of how obesity drives myeloma progression is lacking. Previous studies in our group showed changes in bone marrow adiposity are associated with multiple myeloma progression. Thus, by investigating the interactions between myeloma cells and the host bone marrow microenvironment, I am trying to understand what controls myeloma cell growth in the bone marrow and why these cells can live in a long-term in the skeleton, in a dormant state before they become active disease. I hope to find the intervention to maintain myeloma cells in a dormant state and slow the progression of myeloma to active disease, and eventually to find whether dietary intervention strategies can increase dormancy and prolong progression to myeloma or remission.