Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Identifying Tumor Suppressors
Head & Neck squamous cell carcinoma and triple negative breast cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancer in men and women. Advances in genome sequencing technology are helping clinicians to identify the hundreds of somatic mutations accumulated in patient’s tumor cells. However, not all of them are driver mutations responsible for cancer progression and metastasis. Most of those somatic mutations in genes are mere bystanders. Only the driver genes cause cancer, while the bystander genes do not cause cancer. Finding the driver genes among the hundreds of other mutations in a patient tumor is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Using our lab’s novel in utero technique in mouse models of cancer, we investigate hundreds of genes simultaneously to find out the real driver genes. Once these driver genes are identified, they can be studied further and targeted specifically to improve the cancer treatment.
2015: Hamza Taufique
PhD candidate at University of Toronto
Topic - Understanding the Function of the Tubby Gene - the Common Culprit of Metabolic and Psychiatric Diseases?
2013: Dr. Julia Knight
Senior Investigator, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
Topic - The Long and Complicated Road to Breast Cancer - Can we Avoid this Destination?
2011: Dr. Kristin Connor
Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Stephen Lye
Topic - Genetics and Nutrition in the Womb
2010: Dr. Tatiana Lipina
Research Associate in Dr. John Roder’s lab
Topic - The Genetics of Depression
2009: Alicia Tone
Fellow in Dr. Ted Brown’s Laboratory
Topic - Epithelial Ovarian Cancer