Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

PhD: Tracy Robson - Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics

This project brings together the expertise staff within Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics and collaborators within the pharmaceutical industry.

Project title

Inhibiting tumour growth using a novel anti-cancer protein, FKBPL.

Project description

We have isolated and characterised a novel human gene, FKBPL, a divergent member of the immunophilin family of proteins. FKBPL, is emerging as a as a key player in the DNA damage response, steroid receptor signalling and control of tumour growth where it regulates response to endocrine therapy, acts as a novel anti-angiogenic protein and also has anti-cancer stem cell activity. A peptide therapeutic, based on the active domain of this protein, is now in phase I/II clinical trial.

Further characterisation of this gene/protein and other interacting proteins is therefore justified and will provide a PhD student with an intellectually challenging project covering a wide range of cell and molecular biology based techniques.

This project brings together the expertise staff within Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics and collaborators within the pharmaceutical industry. The student will therefore learn a wide range of skills. This interdisciplinary approach will allow a full evaluation of potentially valuable, novel therapeutic targets that could lead to further commercial exploitation. The project also has the important benefit of using well-tried methodologies which have already generated a prodigious flow of data. The student can rely on a similarly large amount of data arising from this study.