Congratulations to Dr. Peter Stirling (Stirling Lab) for being awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Grant for the project titled “Dominant genetics of cohesion pathway proteins to kill cancer."

About: Cancer cells make a lot of mistakes as they divide and grow. This allows them to accumulate mutations in their DNA which can fuel cancer development. However, sloppy maintenance of their DNA also makes cancer cells vulnerable to therapies which attack this mechanism. Unfortunately only a handful of such therapies exist, making it difficult for clinicians to apply targeted or personalized approaches in this setting. We are studying a group of proteins involved in holding chromosomes together called cohesins that work to maintain a stable genome, and therefore could be good targets for cancer therapy. We will create models in the lab that can better represent what would happen if we had specific cohesin targeting drugs.

Then we will use this knowledge to help identify which specific patients could benefit from such drugs. Our models can also tell us where and how new drugs might work to inhibit cohesin proteins, fueling future drug discovery efforts. Overall, this project will open up new prospects for cancer patients with an increased toolbox for therapeutic target identification and validation.

More info: The CIHR Project Grant Program is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential to advance health-related fundamental or applied knowledge, health research, health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes. It supports research projects proposed and conducted by individual researchers or groups of researchers in all areas of health. The best ideas may stem from:

  • new, incremental, innovative, and/or high-risk lines of inquiry; or,
  • knowledge translation approaches.
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