The Conjoint Gastroenterology Laboratory studies the molecular genetic alterations which underlie the progression of benign bowel polyps to bowel cancer. It has a particular interest in serrated polyps which were previously thought to have no malignant potential but are now recognised to be the precursors of approximately 20% of bowel cancers. This work has led to profound changes in the practice of colonoscopy so that it now better protects against bowel cancer. The laboratory has now developed an animal model of the serrated pathway and are testing chemoprevention strategies. The bowel cancers which arise through the serrated pathway often carry an oncogenic BRAF mutation and develop DNA methylation silencing important genes such as mismatch repair genes. These characteristics are important in predicting prognosis and response to chemotherapy and this is also a focus of our research programme. Collaboration with gastroenterologists, surgeons, pathologists and oncologists is a key aspect of its research.
Honorary Group Leader: Professor Barbara Leggett
- Dr Vicki Whitehall, Visiting Scientist
- Dr Catherine Bond, Research Officer
- Diane Mckeone, Scientific Technical Officer
- Futoshi Kawamata, Postdoctoral Scientist
- John Liu, PhD Student
- Jennifer Borowsky, PhD Student
- Alexandra Kane, Masters Student
- Lochlan Fennell, PhD Student
- Colorectal Cancer – from Genetics to Chemoprevention
- Genetic changes underlying colorectal cancer initiation and progression
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