The Sock it to Sarcoma! Senior Research Fellow

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Latest Research Update from Associate Professor Evan Ingley at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Our laboratory has an interest in understanding the processes of sarcoma invasion and malignancy – the most deadly aspects of advanced cancer. We identified a gene (called AFAP1L1) that appears to be very important in controlling the invasion process in malignant sarcoma cells and we have had several undergraduate students studying this gene in the laboratory. During the middle of 2014 two international students, Matt Lee from the United Kingdom and Rebecca Shapiro from the USA spent 3 months developing sarcoma cells that have the AFAP1L1 gene deleted using new advanced genetic editing techniques (called CRISPR/Cas9) so we can determine just how important it is for the invasion/metastasis of sarcoma cells. We are still assessing that these cells have been correctly genetically edited, and then we will look at how their invasion has been changed.
Two summer vacation students Alex Discombe (who has been awarded a Cancer Council of Western Australia Scholarship) and Morgane Davies (who has been awarded a Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research Scholarship) are working for 3 months in the laboratory on how sarcoma cells can become resistant to certain chemotherapy drugs. And Alex is set to undertake an extension of this work for his honours research project in 2015.
We have been working hard at finishing of research for a major publication on the role of AFAP1L1 in sarcoma cell invasion and we will be submitting this for publication very soon.
We have presented our research on AFAP1L1 at several conferences in 2014, locally (the Sock-it-to-Sarcoma Scientific Forum), nationally (7th Garvan Signalling Symposium, Sydney, NSW) and internationally (Targeting the Kinome III, Basel, Switzerland).