Study level

  • Honours


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Dr Emma Bolderson
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Dr Joshua Burgess
Postdoctoral Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health


Data generated in the lab has identified a novel DNA repair protein previously described as a key protein in HSP70/90 complexes. Many pathways of tumourigenesis are mediated by Heat Shock Proteins and HSP70/90 are found significantly upregulated in ovarian cancers. The targeting of HSP70/90 are an emerging therapeutic avenue for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Supporting this, an inhibitor of HSP90 has been shown to sensitise breast cancer cells to PARP inhibitors and paclitaxel.

Our preliminary data indicates that this new protein responds to DNA damage localising to DNA damage sites and is co-regulated with DNA repair proteins. In this project you will determine whether you can mediate the sensitivity of ovarian cancer cell lines to DNA damaging agents. To modulate the protein level you will silence expression with siRNA transfection or overexpress with plasmid transfections. You will then assess how this protein affects cancer cell response to common chemotherapeutic agents. Following this you will be able to further assess the target in patient samples with available patient derived xenograftand tissue microarrays this will provide clinical evidence supporting your findings.

This will demonstrate that the modulation of expression of a novel could be a viable treatment option for cancer patients

Approaches, skills and techniques

  • Cancer cell line culture.
  • Bioinformatic analysis.
  • Cancer cell line chemotherapeutic treatment.
  • Understanding of cellular signalling.
  • Western blot and immunofluorescence protein quantification.


This proposal presents an opportunity to provide foundations for the development of new cancer therapies. At the end of this proposal you will have defined the prognostic significance of a novel DNA repair protein.



Contact the supervisor for more information.