Professor Steve Pollard is working with scientists from Canada and Denmark to look at chromatin proteins, to see how they could be linked to causing glioblastomas. These chromatin proteins are what help the extremely long strands of DNA to be wrapped up neatly into chromosomes. They will be using the very latest scientific editing tools to further their understanding of the interactions and defects in the proteins. Examples of the skills brought to this project by the applicants are: making glioblastoma stem cells; performing genome editing; experience with chromatin biology/biochemistry; models for drug development and drug screening.
There are around 1000 of these chromatin proteins and little is currently understood about how they regulate genes (turning them on or off) and which ones should be prioritised for drug development. Better understanding of exactly what happens when different chromatin proteins are defective will allow a more targeted drug discovery process. The team will also build on this work by trying to identify existing drugs that could be used to stop defective cells developing into cancer.
Research is the only way we will discover kinder, more effective treatments and, ultimately, stamp out brain tumours – for good! However, brain tumours are complex and research in to them takes a great deal of time and money.
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