The Functional Genetics Laboratory investigates how genetic variants in noncoding regions of the genome contribute to cancer risk and progression. Until recently, the genetic basis of cancer has only been examined in coding regions, which accounts for less than 2% of the human genome. However, it is now apparent that noncoding regions are littered with functional elements such as transcriptional enhancers and long non-coding RNAs. The laboratory focus’s on how inherited variants identified through genome wide association studies (GWAS) and cancer specific mutations identified through whole gene sequencing (WGS) can alter these non-coding elements to promote the development of cancer. The ultimate aim is to use genetics to pinpoint the key genes and pathways implicated in the development of cancer to identify new therapeutic opportunities.
Team Head: Associate Professor Juliet French
- Kristine Hillman, Research Assistant
- Susanne Kaufmann, Research Assistant
- Nehal Abdou, PhD Student
- Identification and evaluation of new melanoma risk genes
- Identifying new long-noncoding RNAs involved in Breast Cancer development
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