Cellular and molecular origins of cancer

The principal aim of my research is to improve the accuracy of brain tumour classification and treatment, avoiding long-term side effects for those who can be cured, whilst providing new therapeutic targets to guide future treatment. With a particular focus on children’s brain tumours. We are working to understand the cellular and molecular origins of cancers and the pathways that drive them. We hope to achieve this goal by:

  • Conducting extensive genomic analyses of brain tumours to identify cancer-causing genetic abnormalities.
  • Understanding the impact of signalling pathways on normal stem cell biology and tissue development
  • Integrating studies of genetic and cell signal alterations in cancers with studies of normal progenitor cells to determine the cellular and molecular origins of tumours
  • Translating knowledge of tumour biology into effective new cancer cures through pre-clinical and early clinical trials of molecular targeted therapies.

These findings are among the most important to have come out of my lab for three decades. Not only have we identified one of the elusive drivers of metastasis, but we have also turned a commonly held understanding of this on its head showing how cancer hijacks processes in healthy cells for its own gains.

Prof Richard Gilbertson, on Rahrmann et al, Nature Genetics 2022

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