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 often have a poorer prognosis.

Our research aims to understand how p53 mutations contribute to the initiation and sustained growth of lymphomas and other tumours and their response to cancer therapy and builds on previous work from the group 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, western blotting, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, RNA-Seq analysis.

About our research group

Our research group is interested in identifying vulnerabilities in lymphomas, leukemias and other tumours that can be exploited for cancer therapy. We have a strong interest in therapeutic targeting of components of the apoptotic pathway using drugs called BH3-mimetics to kill cancer cells. Most recently we have helped progress a BH3-mimetic drug targeting the pro-survival protein MCL-1 into clinical trials for patients with certain blood cell cancers (Kotschy, Nature 2016; Brennan, Blood 2018).

Our research relies on the generation and use of novel pre-clinical models of cancer that accurately mimic the human disease setting. The group works closely with the group of Andreas Strasser, with two current PhD students supervised by both PIs. Additionally, there are two post-doctoral scientists and a research assistant within the group. 


Dr Gemma Kelly

Photo Dr Gemma Kelly
Laboratory Head

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