- Assoc Prof Jason Lee (QIMR)
Epigenetic and metabolic pathways in cancer cells are highly interconnected. Epigenetic landscape in cancer cells is modified by oncogene-driven metabolic changes. Metabolites modulate the activities of epigenetic modifying enzymes to regulate the expression of specific genes. Conversely, epigenetic deregulation that occurs in cancer affect the expression of metabolic genes, thereby altering the metabolome. These changes all coordinately enhance cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and therapy resistance. The overall aim of the project is to understand the link between the activity of epigenetic modifying enzymes and the expression of metabolic genes.
In this project, we will examine metabolic pathways that are dysregulated in cancer and identify promising molecular targets, with an approach to utilise small molecule or biologic inhibitors against these abnormalities. The aims are as follows:
- To determine the effect of inhibiting epigenetic enzymes on metabolic pathways in cancer cells.
- To determine whether metabolic reprogramming results in to cancer cell death.
- To determine whether metabolic reprogramming enhances the therapeutic efficacy of anti-cancer agents.
Approaches/skills and techniques
Mammalian cell culture, western immunoblotting, RNA seq, differential gene analysis, metabolic pathway analysis, proteomics, bioinformatics, written and oral communication skills.
We anticipate that this project would lead to the understanding of how metabolic pathways are regulated by epigenetics. Successful outcome of this project will contribute toward unravelling novel molecular targets, whose intervention may lead to improvements in cancer treatment.
Required skills and experience
Enthusiastic and engaged student who has a genuine interest in research and considering a PhD in the future.
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