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Research projects

Dr Rachael Natrajan, Functional Genomics team

The Identification of Recurrent Genomic Alterations 

Our interests lie in the identification of recurrent genomic alterations that are associated with different subtypes of breast cancer. We achieve this using bioinformatics analysis of publicly available next generation sequencing data, and through collaborative efforts with teams both within and external to the ICR. We are also interested in developing mathematical models to identify and predict ‘driver’ events.

Development of complex in vitro models to study breast cancer progression

We have developed a number of 3D models of cancer cell growth that more accurately mimic the architecture of cancers seen in patients. This allows us to investigate the genetic dependencies of different subgroups of breast cancer in a more in vivo-like setting, in tumours with particular genetic aberrations. Using this approach we have implemented high-throughput screening platforms to perform siRNA knockdown and chemical compound screens.  This allows us to then identify novel therapies that can be used to treat patients with these specific genomic alterations.

The functional genomics laboratory is primarily funded by Breast Cancer Now.

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