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London Health Research Day encourages student research projects that will one day make a difference in patients’ lives.

Medical students from Lawson Health Research Institute and Western Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry packed the London Convention Centre for the research day.

Rows and rows of poster presentations of research projects are on display.

“Our ultimate goal here is to one day improve the life of those diagnosed with prostate cancer,” says PHD student Tian Duo Wang.

Prostate cancer affects one in seven men in Canada and has become the focus of Wang’s work.

“Currently what’s lacking is a non-invasive or minimally-invasive way of reliably detecting whether a patient requires treatment or the patient should go for active surveillance.”

Over the past two years Wang has been working on creating a urine test that could detect the aggressiveness of prostate cancer, by using specific bio markers.

“The idea here is that a cancer cell would be able to produce this protein and a normal cell will not and this will lend a higher amount of specificity...able to indicate and treat prostate cancer.”

Wang’s work is one of 400 research projects being highlighted at the research day, which includes posters, platform presentations and keynote speakers from London’s medical community.

“The incredible thing about a day like this is that we get out of our individual silos and we are able to get out and see what’s going on down the hall from us, from all across the city and that’s a rare opportunity,” says Dr. Kathy Speechley, professor at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and a Lawson scientist.

Speechley says this day is a day to share, learn and collaborate together on new and innovative health research. “These are the researchers of tomorrow that we are going to hear great things from.”