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 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.

 

Dr Klaus Pors and his PhD student are investigating how to unlock the potential of chemotherapy drugs known as duocarmycins, which could provide a new, more effective treatment option for people with breast cancer – especially those whose cancer has returned or spread.