Biomarker Development Laboratory (BiD Lab)
Cellular control networks direct the phenotypic behaviour of cells, responding to external cues such as hormones, Growth factors and nutrients to elicit appropriate reactions. Mapping these networks, understanding their connectivity and their sense of action, provides a basis upon which to model and predict cellular behaviour for example in the context of genetic variation, disease and drug treatment.
In cancer, somatic mutations are known to affect specific cellular controls, typically those that sit at key nodes within signalling hierarchies. These mutations confer cell autonomous growth, survival, genomic instability, etc, properties characteristic of transformed cells. Frequently observed mutations define candidate therapeutic targets/pathways and targeted drugs are already making an impact in the clinic.
Monitoring the state of control networks in patient samples brings novel therapeutic candidates, pharmacodynamic readouts and a predictive framework in which to stratify patients and optimise the benefits of new targeted therapeutics. The inexorable move towards molecular insight based, patient stratification, is as yet poorly served by our ability to deliver the critical network status information in patient samples. In combination with the mapping of elements of the network, the newly established BiD laboratory is working on novel approaches to resolve this information gap.
Development of Biomarker technologies and Biomarker exploitation for signal transduction pathways.
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