top of page
APEC-Australia Women in Research
Fellowship 2023
Dr Karla Josefina Santacruz Gomez
Karla Josefina Santacruz Gomez.jpg

Home Economy: Mexico

Host Institution: RMIT University


Project Title: Exploring multifunctional nanostructures to enhance Ovarian cancer treatment: Localized heating and chemotherapy Combination.


Project Outline:

Ovarian cancer is a significant global health concern that affects numerous women each year, and poses challenges in terms of early detection and effective treatment.

This project is centered on the exploration of the potential of nanostructured systems of SiO2@Au-

Fe3O4-DOX. These nanostructures have the capacity to absorb light energy and release it as heat to target cancer cells while simultaneously releasing doxorubicin, a chemotherapeutic drug. It is comparable to orchestrating a double attack on cancer cells.

Additionally, these nanostructures can potentially assist us in better understanding the integrity of our cells and tissues by employing Raman spectroscopy. This technique can aid in the early detection of ovarian cancer by identifying specific markers in our body fluids originating from ovarian cancer cells.  All of these remarkable applications can be seamlessly integrated into the treatment process, enabling us to monitor the progression of the disease and assess the prognosis in real-time. This significantly enhances the efficiency of managing ovarian cancer. 

Reasons for applying for fellowship: Applying for the APEC-Australia Women in Research Fellowship for an ovarian cancer project perfectly aligns with my passion for research, commitment to gender equity, and my dedication to positively impacting women's health. While my previous research experience has centered on in vitro theranostics of breast cancer, this fellowship presents a unique platform to propel my career by elevating my experiments to the critical pre-clinical research phase. Furthermore, it grants me the opportunity to actively contribute to the global fight against cancers that affect women, such as breast and ovarian cancer. I am not only enthusiastic about seizing this opportunity but also committed to expanding my international collaboration network.


Past Achievements:

  • Graduated in Chemical Biology in 2007 from the University of Sonora in Mexico with a specialization in Immunohematology and a master’s degree in health sciences;

  • In 2013, obtained a PhD from the Centro de Investigación de Materiales Avanzados and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain;

  • Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California San Diego in 2015;

  • Full-time professor at the Universidad de Sonora in Mexico. Successfully supervised undergraduate, master's, and doctoral theses;

  • She holds key leadership roles, including her participation in the Women in STEM mentoring program supported by the British Council;

  • The President of the Research Ethics Committee at the Universidad de Sonora, Coordinates Academic Networking and professional practice, and the Physics Departmental Board;

  • A reviewer for multiple journals and has authored numerous publications;

  • An active speaker at conferences in the fields of nanomaterials, physics, and biology;

  • In 2017, she and her research group earned the title of "Distinguished Research Group" at the Universidad de Sonora;

  • In 2022, she was honored with an honoris causa doctorate from the International Organization for Inclusive Education;

  • Delegate Representative for Mexico in the European Biotechnology Thematic Network since 2023.

Email Address:


bottom of page