Mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 can drastically increase a person’s risk of developing breast cancer. Professor Xiaodong Zhang will study how changes in the shape of BRCA proteins can alter their function. This could help us tailor therapies to people with breast cancer.

We need to develop our understanding of how breast cancer spreads around the body if we want to prevent deaths from the disease. Dr Iain Macpherson is studying the role of glutamate in breast cancer and will see if blocking it could prevent secondary breast cancer.

To be able to grow, cancer cells need to divide. But they do this in an abnormal way, which causes the uncontrollable growth of tumours. Professor Judy Coulson is studying this process in more detail, with the hope of developing new therapies to improve survival for patients.

Dr Powis is investigating proteins that are released by breast cancer cells, to determine how they might be affecting the ways in which the immune system recognises and kills cancer, and how we could use this knowledge to improve treatment for breast cancer patients.

 

Dr Robert Falconer is developing a new form of chemotherapy, which could only kill cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact. If this project is successful, it could save lives and lead to more people living beyond breast cancer.