Director of the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics
Expertise: Cancer, Transcription, Drug discovery, HOX genes, EN2, Biomarker
My group is developing strategies to target the HOX / Engrailed family of homeodomain containing transcription factors in cancer. Work starting in 2004 gave rise to the currently only available antagonist of HOX function, HXR9, which represents a novel therapeutic approach in cancer. I have a number of active industrial collaborations to further develop this technology, including the synthesis of small molecule inhibitors of HOX proteins.
In addition, we are studying the potential of HOX and Engrailed transcription factors as biomarkers for the diagnosis of a number of cancers including that of the prostate, lung and bladder. Our work has identified the EN2 transcription factor as a diagnostic marker for prostate cancer with twice the sensitivity of the currently used marker, PSA, and a high predictive value for tumour volume. EN2 is now undergoing clinical trials at multiple, international centres.
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