Cytoskeletal Systems Group
Our research focuses on how the fundamental biology of cytoskeletal signalling and crosstalk drives disease pathogenesis and provides a novel axis for therapeutic intervention in several disease contexts.
In much the same way that the skeleton provides a structural framework to support the human body, the shape, internal organisation and mechanical properties of each cell are supported by networks of protein filaments, collectively known as the cytoskeleton. Whilst cytoskeletal networks have traditionally been studied and treated in isolation, they are in reality highly inter-dependent and integrated in terms of their mechanical properties and upstream signalling regulators.
In the context of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), our group are particularly interested in exploiting cytoskeletal phenotypes to identify novel drugs that target these signalling regulators. Our ongoing projects utilise these novel drugs as tools to decipher the biology that underpins metastatic disease progression in TNBC, and in close collaboration with the Network Biology laboratory, we are actively pursuing the preclinical assessment and development of several novel compounds for the treatment of metastatic TNBC.
Our group also aim to investigate holistic cytoskeletal systems in diseases where cytoskeletal components are fundamental drivers of disease pathogenesis and essential therapeutic targets. In our cancer research streams, this work involves understanding how crosstalk between these systems dictates therapeutic outcomes to standard-of-care microtubule-targeting agents. Beyond cancers, we are interested in understanding how mutations in specific cytoskeletal proteins underpin disease aetiology.
- 2023Science advances10.1126/sciadv.abp8314
Memory of stochastic single-cell apoptotic signaling promotes chemoresistance in neuroblastoma.
- Biochemical Society transactions10.1042/BST20220808
Non-kinase targeting of oncogenic c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling: the future of clinically viable cancer treatments.
- 2020Cell reports10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108090
Myosin-18B Regulates Higher-Order Organization of the Cardiac Sarcomere through Thin Filament Cross-Linking and Thick Filament Dynamics.
- Advances in experimental medicine and biology10.1007/978-3-030-38062-5_19