Investigating the role of mutant p53 in cancer

Investigating the role of mutant p53 in cancer

Project details

Mutations in the tumour suppressor p53 are frequently detected in human cancers of diverse origin. These mutations impair the response of malignant cells to anti-cancer agents that cause DNA damage and patients with tumours carrying defects in p53 often have a poorer prognosis.

Our research aims to understand how p53 mutations contribute to the initiation and sustained growth of lymphomas and other types of cancer, and their response to cancer therapy. This work builds on previous work using innovative mouse models, cell biology techniques and bio-informatic analysis published in Aubrey et al, Genes and Dev 2018.

The student will gain experience in working with sophisticated pre-clinical models of cancer and will learn a wide range of techniques including FACS, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, RNA-Seq analysis.

About our research group

Our research groups (3 PhD students, 5 post-docs and 2 research assistants) are interested in identifying vulnerabilities in blood cancers that can be exploited for cancer therapy. We have a focus on therapeutic targeting of the apoptotic pathway using drugs called BH3-mimetics to kill cancer cells.

Recently we helped progress a BH3-mimetic drug targeting the pro-survival protein MCL-1 into clinical trials for patients with certain blood cancers (Kotschy, Nature 2016; Brennan, Blood 2018). Our research relies on the generation of novel pre-clinical models of cancer that accurately mimic the human disease.

The groups of Gemma Kelly and Andreas Strasser collaborate extensively and have published > 30 papers in the past 5 years in leading medical research journals (eg. Nature, Nature Medicine, Immunity, Blood and Cell).


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