Though all genes exist within every cell in the human body, only a defined gene expression program is executed at any time via reprogramming of the epigenome in response to environmental cues. These dynamic events are elegantly orchestrated by writer and eraser enzymes; generating a ‘histone code’ within the epigenetic landscape of genes. The therapeutic implications of targeting novel domains of epigenetic enzymes are beginning to be appreciated in immuno-oncology.
The laboratory’s focus on immune-oncology is on metastatic cancers and potential implications for viral therapy and the immune response in the aged population. We are also addressing the potential implications for the utility of epi-therapy in combination with immunotherapy and chemotherapy for a variety of metastatic cancers. My team is in the process of developing sensitive liquid biopsies using our newly identified novel biomarkers for patient responsiveness to immunotherapy in the context of the tumour microenvironment. We are also in the process of developing clinical based epigenetic platforms for drug screening and biomarker discovery in collaboration with global technology partnerships.