Identification of Cancer Drivers Using Transposon Mutagenesis
In order to develop more effective cancer treatments, we need to understand the underlying genetic causes of cancer. The Starr lab has developed transgenic mouse models that are capable of identifying the genetic changes that turn a normal cell into a cancerous cell. Using these models they have discovered a large number of genes that likely cause cancer in humans when mutated. They are currently studying the function of these genes in order to determine whether they could be targeted in cancer therapy. They are also working in close collaboration with bioinformaticists to use the data generated by the mouse models to define the genetic networks that are disrupted during cancer initiation and progression in human tumors. The long-term goal of this research is to develop combinatorial, targeted therapies for treating cancer patients.
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