Molecular coordination between cytoskeletal networks in collective cell migration and its impact on development and disease (SBF006\1070)

Project: Research

Project Details

Layman's description

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second highest cause of cancer death worldwide and is on the increase, especially in developed nations. In the UK, statistics for 2017 show that there were 42,042 new cases and 16,300 deaths. Despite advances, the burden may increase by 30% by 2030. Early detection is key to suppress this trend by increasing the likelihood of successful treatment, with concomitant societal and economic impacts derived from avoiding death or disability from CRC.

Alteration of certain genes known as ‘gate-keepers’ promote cancer. One of them known as APC, is altered in more than 85% of CRC cases. In addition, defective APC facilitates other gut diseases (e.g. inflammation, infection). Here I propose various strategies based on the use of models recreating patient responses in the laboratory to study how alteration of APC affects cell movement which in turn is required to maintain normal gut structure. This setup will be used to link specific modes of APC alteration with individual gut diseases. The prime goal of this study is to discover specific biomarkers to permit in the future early detection of the respective gut disorders. Furthermore, a detailed mechanistic understanding of those signatures will advance our ability to develop improved and more personalised therapies.
Short titleCytoskeleton dynamics in cell migration
Effective start/end date1/04/2131/03/23


  • The Academy of Medical Sciences


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