Published on October 7th, 2015 | by Julia Lindström
RESEARCHER’S GRAND PRIX
Camilla Hanquist Stokkevåg from the Department of Physics and Technology (UiB) and Tone Aspevik from the Department of Biology (UiB) are going to present their projects at the Researcher’s Grand Prix 2015 in Bergen which will take place on September 23, 2015.
Camilla’s field is medical physics, and she is investigating which type of radiation therapy techniques can be applied, therefore using her knowledge to improve the radiation therapy techniques for cancer treatment.
“Radiation therapy is one of our most important weapons in cancer treatment and has actually been used for about hundred years for treating cancer,” she explains. “Unfortunately, this treatment does also in many cases involve side effects.”
“Cancerous cells can be destroyed by radiation,” continues the researcher. “The amount of radiation delivered should be precise, so that the healthy tissues, surrounding these cancer cells, would not be damaged. From physics we know, that different types of radiation interact differently with matter, and thereby some radiation techniques are capable of depositing the damaging radiation with greater precision.”
“In some cases radiation therapy is associated with a new secondary cancer following the primary cancer disease. The risk of getting such called radiation induced cancer continues to increase during the lifetime, which makes children and young cancer patients particularly sensitive to this side effect due to a potential long life following treatment. For these patients, precise radiation delivery is very important.”
In Camilla’s research, she is using biophysical and mathematical models to investigate the risk of developing radiation induced cancer from such precise radiation therapy techniques.
The focus of her research is connected to the main theme of the upcoming Research Days, which is “Food”. The Norwegian Aquaculture generates large amounts of by-products, e.g. fish heads and backbones from the fish filleting industry. This by-product material is of high quality and should be processed for human consumption.
“In my project I use salmon heads and backbones to make protein powder,” describes Tone. “I use enzymes to hydrolyze the proteins to make them smaller and more water soluble. However, the main problem with this process is the formation of bitter and unpleasant taste. I have used different enzymes and techniques to minimize the formation of bitter taste, without reducing nutritive value.”
As part of the research process Tone tests the samples with help of a professional sensory panel, consisted of up to 10 highly trained judges. Based on their detailed feedbacks, further processes have been analysed and explored in order to make a neutral final product which could be potentially available in the retail stores in the future.
Do not miss the opportunity to support Tone and Camilla at the Researcher Grand Prix on the 23rd of September. MatNatPrat wishes all the participants good luck in delivering breath-taking presentations at the competition.