Dr. Kirsten Skov, Ph.D
Tel: 604-675-8000 ext. 8021
Senior Scientist Emerita, Advanced Therapeutics
DR SKOV IS NOW RETIRED
Metal complexes as hypoxic cytotoxins and radiosensitizers
The primary interest of this group is the study of chemical and biochemical aspects of radiobiology, in particular, 1) the development and assessment of drugs to improve radiotherapy; 2) radioresistance to hypoxia and cross-resistance to drugs. In general, the emphasis has been on drugs which contain metals, including, Pt, Ru and Ni. Coordination of these metals to bio-reductive and other bioactive ligands can effectively "target" the drugs to DNA, enhancing the DNA damaging properties of the compounds. Using cell survival, DNA-damage, protein binding and drug accumulation assays, we are currently assessing several drugs developed for this purpose. Related studies include the use of nitroimidazole compounds for the detection and imaging of hypoxia in tumour cells.
Induced radiation responses at low doses
The Dynamic Microscope Image Processing System (DMIPS) has allowed the conventional cell survival assay to be performed with much higher precision. This has led to the discovery that very low doses of x-rays (<1 Gy) produce significantly higher cell kill than previously believed. We are using the DMIPS system to further characterize this phenomenon of "induced radioresistance" in mammalians in an effort to understand the factors contributing to intrinsic cellular radiosensitivity. Other end points we are incorporating into our studies include DNA damage and apoptosis frequency.