Meet Freya Weth, our new PhD student

Freya Weth wears a white lab coat and smiles at the camera with an image of a glioblastoma organoid on her computer.

Freya Weth, looking at a glioblastoma organoid grown in the GMRI lab.

We welcome Freya Weth, who’s joining us for the next three years to complete her PhD in biomedical science. She’s received the Graham Langridge Scholarship and was ‘in complete disbelief’ when she heard the news.

‘I feel grateful because it’s allowed me to pursue what I’ve been wanting to do — so thank you to Judith Langridge and the family,’ she says.

Freya’s PhD is titled ‘Utilising glioblastoma organoids to investigate novel mechanisms involved in repurposed (off-patent) drug treatments.’ This means she’ll grow organoids, or ‘mini brains’, from patients’ tumour tissues, and test them with existing medications to see how the tumours respond.

She’s most looking forward to performing proteomics, which examines how cells express different proteins.

Freya is excited to continue her passion and research at the GMRI, with her ultimate motivation to make cancer treatment more affordable and accessible.

‘The team are not only leading scientists, but warm and friendly individuals. Everyone has their own areas of research and I am excited to learn everything I can.’

Freya is enrolled with Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and will be supervised by Dr Lifeng Peng (Victoria University), Dr Clint Gray (GMRI Chief Scientist) and Erin Paterson (GMRI Laboratory Manager/Senior Laboratory Technician).

Learn more about the Graham Langridge Scholarship

The 22-year-old growing mini-brains in petri dishes to fight brain cancer | Stuff.co.nz