Uncovering the roles of long non-coding RNAs in human bowel cancer

Uncovering the roles of long non-coding RNAs in human bowel cancer

Project details

Bowel cancer is major public health problem. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-protein coding transcripts >200 nucleotides in length that are emerging as important regulators of gene and protein expression in the human genome. Recent studies have linked multiple inherited cancer risk loci to lncRNAs, and deregulation of lncRNA expression is increasingly recognised as a key player in tumourigenesis. However, our understanding of lncRNA pathobiology in bowel cancer remains limited. 

This project will study novel oncogenic lncRNA candidates identified in our laboratory at the cellular and molecular levels to uncover their contributions to bowel cancer development. Work will involve the use of cell lines and the analysis of patient cancer specimens. Results will provide fundamental insights into the mechanisms that govern human bowel cancer growth, invasion, and metastasis. 

About our research group

My research group has a major focus on bowel cancer genomics, the application of high-throughput molecular profiling technologies to identify principal cancer genes, and biomarkers of cancer risk and prognosis. We are conducting next-generation sequencing and microarray studies involving large patient cohorts to define molecular signatures associated with tumour characteristics and outcome.

Patient-focused investigations are being complemented with functional studies on cancer cell lines to distinguish driver from passenger mutations and to gain insights into molecular pathways of carcinogenesis. Molecularly annotated cancer cell lines are further being used to explore the efficacy of novel drug therapies, both as single-agents and in combination with standard therapies.


Project Type:

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Is bowel cancer prevention on the horizon? Our panel of experts discussed this question at a public forum in 2014.