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Determining the theapeutic efficiency of epigenetic drugs in ovarian cancer

Because cancer and many diseases arise from a combination of genetic propensity and the response of cells to external factors mediated through changes to the expression of key genes, it is important to understand epigenetic regulation. The epigenome is crucial to the changes of gene expression and there is now strong evidence that epigenetic alterations are key drivers of cancer progression. However, very few drugs targeting epigenetic modifiers have been successful, in part due to the lack of effective means …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Using a natural β-carboline dimer compound to target metabolic vulnerabilities linked to glycolysis in prostate cancer

Project code:BIOM08Area of research:CancerProject aims and objectives:Our research is focussed on understanding the mechanisms that lead to therapy failure in prostate cancer and how these can be targeted to prevent cancer deaths. One way prostate cancers become resistant is by reprogramming their metabolism to overcome metabolic stress induced by treatment. We aim to identify drugs that can target metabolic networks that are unique to cancer cells.Previous work in our lab has identified a compound, BD, isolated from a sea squirt …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Investigating differences in downstream signalling mediated by two isoforms of FGFR2 in endometrial cancer

FGFR2 encodes two alternatively spliced isoforms that differ in their ligand binding domain and the combination of tissue specific expression of these isoforms and tissue specific expression of the FGF ligands is the foundation of normal paracrine signalling. Isoform switching from FGFR2b (inclusion of exon 8) to FGFR2c (inclusion of exon 9) occurs in tumorigenesis as it establishes an autocrine loop in epithelial cancer cells.We have previously published a detailed investigation into differences between wildtype FGFR2b and mutant FGFR2b following …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Investigating the role of Neuropilin-1 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer metastasis and chemoresistance

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are negative for Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor and HER2 expression, are clinically aggressive and are unresponsive to the available hormonal or targeted drugs used for other breast cancer subtypes, so that TNBC patients rely mainly on chemotherapy. TNBC accounts for 15-20% of all invasive breast cancer and patients have increased risk of recurrence, mortality and early metastatic progression. Thus, there is an urgent clinical need to develop improved treatment strategies for TNBC. Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) is a …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

A novel molecular targeted therapy for anaplastic prostate cancer

In advanced PCa, where the cancer has spread into the bone and other organs, the emergence of treatment resistance remains inevitable. For decades the primary form of treatment in advanced PCa has been to target the production and actions of male sex hormones, androgens, the primary developmental and survival factor of prostate tissue. While these therapies result in tumour regression and cancer control, this is temporary and treatment resistance occurs, referred to as castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In the …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Investigating immunosuppression downstream of activated FGFR2 in endometrial cancer

FGFR2 encodes two alternatively spliced isoforms that differ in their ligand binding domain and the combination of tissue specific expression of these isoforms and tissue specific expression of the FGF ligands is the foundation of normal paracrine signalling. Isoform switching from FGFR2b (inclusion of exon 8) to FGFR2c (inclusion of exon 9) occurs in tumorigenesis as it establishes an autocrine loop in epithelial cancer cells. Our lab has reported that FGFR2 activation by mutations or isoform switching is associated with …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Testing a promising targeted therapeutic for triple-negative breast cancer

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are negative for Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor and HER2 expression, are clinically aggressive and cannot be treated with the available hormonal or targeted drugs used for other breast cancer subtypes. TNBC accounts for 15-20% of all invasive breast cancer and patients have increased risk of recurrence, mortality and metastases early during disease progression. There is an urgent clinical need to develop improved treatment strategies for these women since the median survival of patients with metastatic TNBC …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

A golden approach to nanomedicine. Gold-polymer hybrid nanoparticles

Gold, a precious metal, is also highly valued for the production of highly functional nanoparticles.Gold nanoparticles interact with light and microwaves to generate heat and light, which can be used in nanomedicine for therapy or imaging.This project will look at developing polymer-gold hybrid nanoparticles to improve disease delivery and therapy. This project involves:polymer synthesismaterials formulationcharacterisation. …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Characterisation of melanoma cell membranes to identify novel drug targets

Cell membrane structure and function are altered during tumour development, but to date comprehensive studies on the characterisation of cell membranes of a given cancer are scarce, or are only focused on a particular property (e.g. overall charge, global lipid composition, or specific lipid). In preliminary work we compared the lipidome (i.e. the lipid profile) of a panel of cells, and found the lipid composition of model melanoma cells to be distinct from that of other cancerous and non-cancerous cells. …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Characterisation of a novel protein co-amplified with the n-MYC oncogene

The MYCN oncogene is amplified in a number of tumour types, including Neuroblastoma (NB) and Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer (NEPC), where it is associated with worse patient prognosis, as compared to non-amplified tumours. However, the high expression of MYCN (encoding the n-MYC protein) alone in non-amplified tumours is associated with better patient prognosis and less aggressive disease. This suggests that other genes co-expressed in MYCN amplified tumours may be responsible for mediating the aggressive traits of n-MYC. Our team has identified …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Characterise a novel DNA repair protein as a target for cancer therapies

Our cellular DNA is constantly under threat from both exogenous and endogenous factors. DNA repair pathways function to maintain genomic stability, preventing deleterious mutations that may ultimately lead to cancer initiation. Once a tumour does form it will evolve to become even more genetically unstable, allowing environmental adaptation. In terms of cancer treatment, synthetic lethality can exploit tumour-driven mutations and protein expression alterations to induce cancer-specific cell death. One of the best examples is the discovery several years ago that …

Study level
Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Development of bioengineered 3D tumour models for preclinical breast cancer research

3D organoid model technologies have led to the development of innovative tools for precision medicine in cancer treatment. Yet, the lack of resemblance to native tumours, and the limited ability to test drugs in a high-throughput mode, has limited translation to practice.This project will progress organoid models by using advanced tissue engineering technologies and high-throughput 3D bioprinting to recreate ‘mini-tumours-in-a-dish’ from a patient’s own tumour cells, and study the effects of various components of the tumour microenvironment on drug response.In …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Biomedical Technologies

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