Your research stories for Open Access Week

Providing ‘a way to quickly inform investigators and the non-scientific community'

Onica Le GendreTo celebrate OA Week, we asked researchers who’ve recently published their work Open Access (OA) to tell us why they chose OA as their route to publish, what reception their research article received, and how they found the experience. Read on for Dr Onica Le Gendre’s OA story.

Published in Molecular and Cellular Oncology, 2015

Downloads: 8,411*            Altmetric score: 146*

Publishing the study on the effects of Oleocanthal in cancer cells open access provided a way to quickly inform both investigators and the non-scientific community on the benefits of extra virgin olive oil, specifically Oleocanthal, in the treatment of various human cancers.

‘Imperative to the exposure the study has generated’

For this research, the efficient turnover in regards to submission, revision and acceptance observed with Taylor & Francis OA publishing was imperative to the exposure the study has generated.

‘A first hand, real world method to possibly treat or prevent cancer using natural sources’

The article has been widely accessed because the study indicates that Oleocanthal, an ingredient in extra-virgin olive oil, rapidly kills a variety of human cancer cells with minimal harm done to healthy cells. Chemotherapeutics has been shown to exhibit toxicity to non-cancerous cells. Oleocanthal provides a possible treatment strategy to circumvent non-specific toxicity. The accessibility of extra virgin olive oil and Oleocanthal also provides the non-scientific community with a first hand, real world method to possibly treat or prevent cancer using natural sources.

As a way to highlight the study, Rutgers University issued a press release on February 12, 2015. Hunter College also organized an NBC news segment to highlight the findings of the study on February 16, 2015. Since the release of the study, several national and international blog posts have been written, highlighting the article and the benefits of extra virgin olive oil in the treatment and prevention of various cancers. Within the coming weeks, LaGuardia Community College will also be issuing a press release to highlight the study.

Covered by Science Daily, Epoch Times, Medical Daily, Medical News and Today, as well as on, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and  Mendeley

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Dr Onica Le Gendre is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at LaGuardia Community college. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Hamilton College, and her PhD in Organic Chemistry from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York and Hunter College. Dr Le Gendre’s PhD dissertation focused on the synthesis and structural modification of the MDMA “ecstasy” antagonist Nantenine.

Dr Le Gendre conducted post-doctoral research in cancer biology at Hunter College. Her research dealt with understanding and manipulating the TGF-and mTOR signaling pathways in cancer cells to induce cell death by a synthetic lethal interaction. Dr. Le Gendre also provided evidence that pancreatic cancer cells BxPC3 underwent a chromosomal translocation of the SMAD4 gene rather than a chromosomal deletion. Dr. Le Gendre also demonstrated that Oleocanthal, an ingredient in extra virgin olive oil, rapidly and selectively induces cell death in cancer cells through destabilization of the lysosomal membrane.

Dr Le Gendre’s current research focuses on the synthesis of glycosolated anti-cancer small molecules, as well as the further exploration of Oleocanthal as a viable chemotherapeutic.

*Data recorded 18/10/2015