Breast cancer is a heterogenous disease composed of various subtype. One subtype, basal breast tumor, has the worst prognosis and shows the greatest extent of metastasis. A detailed knowledge of the activation status of oncogenic signaling pathways in basal cancers, and in particular in their secondary tumors, is needed to target these pathways appropriately. Using Kinex™ antibody microarray we have discovered activated oncogenic and cell signaling molecules that regulate basal cancer cell survival in order to realise the potential of patient targeted therapies.
We will select the candidate pathway(s) up-regulated in more than 10% of basal breast cancers for further studies. To determine whether identified gene/pathway is a marker/regulator of a tumorigenic phenotype functional studies in cell lines and tumours will be performed. This will include overexpressing or knocking down the expression in relevant cell lines as well as testing of appropriate combinations of available small molecule inhibitors and without or with conventional chemotherapy. Syngeneic and xenograft breast cancer models will be used for target evaluation and efficacy of therapy in vivo.
Expected outcomes and deliverables
Scholars will gain skills in cell biology, molecular biology and/or animal techniques including tissue culture, immunofluorescence, western blotting, FACS, animal handling and dissections and Xenograft Tumour Models.
- Suitable for students with a background in biology who are looking to undertake Honours or a PhD in the future.