Cancer is initiated by mutations in the DNA that allow cells to continuously divide. Cell division involves the duplication of the genetic material, the DNA, and the subsequent segregation of the duplicated DNA to produce two genetically identical cells. However, continuous cell divisions, the hallmark of cancer, cause problems during the replication of the DNA, which is known as DNA replication stress. Replication stress, in turn, causes additional mutations in the DNA allowing further development of cancer. An important consequence of this is that cancer cells become increasingly dependent on mechanism to tolerate replication stress. The PhD project will focus on how cancer associated mutations cause replication stress and identify proteins involved in the tolerance to replication stress. Understanding these processes in cancer cells will allow us to specifically target cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
During the project the student will develop skills in a wide range of molecular and cellular biological techniques, including extensive microscopy work and potential drug discovery. Insight into the role of replication stress in causing and curing cancer will help guide the use of existing cancer treatment and identify novel cancer drug targets, providing better cancer treatment, which will benefit patients and their families.
More detailed information about the research project is available on request from [email protected]