Dr Alex Thompson, University of Nottingham
Lecture theatre C42, Biomedical Sciences Building
The group are currently focused on the pivotal role that HOXA cluster genes play in the demarcation and possible emergence of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and their role in cancer. Solid as well as blood cancers are associated with overexpression of HOX proteins in the nucleus, which is traditionally a difficult area of the cell to target with conventional drugs. Recently, using model-derived HOXA gene signatures and in collaboration with bioinformaticians, the group have used Connectivity Mapping to identify novel and repurposed drugs to treat leukaemia. Some drugs have shown efficacy as monotherapy in pre-clinical models whilst for others combination therapies are required. However, eradication of the leukaemia repopulating cell or stem cell whilst retaining normal HSCs remains a challenge with current experimental therapies.
Host: Dr Allison Blair