High school student wins Sanofi Biogenius Challenge for 3D tumour research at U of T Engineering

Jody Mou, a Grade 12 student at University of Toronto Schools, has designed a system to rapidly manufacture 3D tumour models used to study cancer in the lab. The innovation earned her first place in the Greater Toronto region for the Sanofi Biogeneius Canada (SBC)competition.

Mou’s project was conducted in the lab of Professor Alison McGuigan (ChemE) where she was supervised by PhD candidate Darren Rodenhizer (ChemE) and undergraduate student Nancy Li (Year 4 ChemE).

“This is the magic that can happen when you put someone with fresh ideas and perspective together with good student mentorship,” says McGuigan.

McGuigan and her team had previously developed a method of growing cancer cells in a rolled-up sheet that mimics the conditions in a 3D tumour more closely than a 2D petri dish. Because the sheet can be unrolled in seconds, it allows scientists to analyze the cells in ways that aren’t possible with other 3D culture techniques.

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