Identifying Achilles' heels of cancer
We study mechanisms of cross-talk between cancer cell programmes, and interactions between tumours and the environment.
We use various model systems, including normal and cancer-derived cell lines, fruit flies, zebrafish, mice and patient-derived biopsies, to identify cross-talk between cancer cell programmes, with the aim of identifying the “Achilles' heels” of cancer.
Using animal and organoid (artificial organ) models, the centre will also study how tumours interact with their microenvironment and how they affect cell metabolism both in the local tumour environment in and the whole organism.
These studies will tell us how cancer cells invade and reprogram their surrounding tissues and will also shed light on the clinically very important cancer wasting syndrome known as cachexia.
Specific tasks include:
- Identification of mechanisms of epigenetic aberrations and cancer driver mutations
- Identification of cross-talk between membranes, cell signalling and metabolism
- Elucidating the role of membrane dynamics in genome stability and chromatin organisation
- Identification of cross-talk between cell signalling, membrane traffic and cell migration
- Identification of links between epigenetics and metabolism in tumour progression
- Characterising cross-talk between nutrient status, tumour growth and invasion
- Identification of mechanisms that link tumour growth, inflammation, metabolism and tissue wasting
- Elucidation of novel mechanisms of cancer cell invasion