Melanoma – What’s hair got to do with it

Source: AUT, September 2019

AUT biomedical engineering PhD student Xiyong Huang has been investigating why children are particularly vulnerable to sun exposure.

Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer in humans. Due to the high level of UV in New Zealand, skin cancer has always been an important research topic. Research shows that individuals who experience excessive sun exposure during their childhood tend to have a significantly higher chance of developing melanoma in later life.

“My research aims to explain why children are especially vulnerable to sun exposure. I started to investigate the characteristics of human hair and its implications for melanoma in the final year of my Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), and my doctoral research builds on this work. My PhD research could have significant implications for the prevention of skin cancer, including public awareness and improvement of sunscreen,” says Mr Huang.

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