Teams within the division are researching a wide variety of aspects of biology implicated in the origin and growth of cancer, including DNA replication and repair, cell division, signalling, metabolism, and migration.
Much of the division’s research is concerned with genomic stability; in particular how cells normally ensure that no errors are made in copying the genome or repairing it after damage, and that a complete copy of the genome is inherited by each daughter cell. All of these processes can and do go wrong in cancer, and this leads to vulnerabilities in cancer cells that can be successfully exploited for treatment.
A second strength of the division is in studying protein function and interactions on a systems-wide scale to identify how signalling pathways are rewired in cancer cells, and how this affects cell behaviour, cell shape and cell metabolism.
Historically, scientists in the division were the first to make the ground-breaking discovery of the mechanism by which the RAS gene – one of the most commonly activated genes in cancer – causes cells to turn malignant through activation of the ERK-MAP kinase cell signalling pathway.
Our research in cancer biology also helped identify and understand the BRAF oncogene, which is now an important drug target in malignant melanoma and other tumours.
There are strong links between the Divisions of Cancer Biology and Structural Biology, and joint appointments with the divisions of Structural Biology and Molecular Pathology ensure that scientific and technical developments can be rapidly exploited.
Applications for internships should be directed to the respective team leader whose work aligns with the interests of applicants. Please use the contact links provided on the individual research team pages listed below.