OVERVIEW

Cancer genomics researchers are studying master control genes to help develop new therapies for patients with cancer and also direct stem cells into specific outcomes for therapeutic use. Master control genes are a small subset of genes which interpret the genome in all cells to determine their identity. Dr Andrew Perkins’ group uses state-of-the-art genetics and genomics techniques including deep sequencing of genomes to understand how gene mutations disruption normal blood cell production. His team is particularly interested in red blood cell disorders and pre-leukemic neoplasms and uses animal models to investigate how master regulator proteins and non-coding Ribonucleic Acid (ncRNAs) interpret the genome to direct healthy early embryo development and growth. The team studies how these same fundamental control genes cause cancer and other blood diseases when they take on mutations later in life in humans. Spontaneous mutations – those that are not inherited from parents - are an underappreciated source of human disease. The core focus of the Genome Plasticity and Disease group is to discover spontaneous mutations that occur in the somatic cells of the body and cause cancer. In particular, this group is interested in retrotransposons, a type of “jumping gene” that moves to a new genomic location and changes how that region functions. To study these elements, a combination of high-throughput DNA sequencing, computational biology and experimental validation are used.

Key Researchers
 
Andrew Perkins
Geoffrey Faulkner
Key Aims
 
  • To develop new therapies for patients with cancer.
  • To direct stem cells into specific outcomes for therapeutic use.
  • To discover spontaneous mutations that occur in the somatic cells of the body and cause cancer.
Australian Translational Genomics Centre (ATGC) The Queensland University of Technology Australian Translational Genomics Centre (ATGC) was established in 2016 to meet the needs of researchers into...Read more