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Research interests

Our main objective is the identification and functional characterisation of protein kinases which are over-expressed and/or activated in malignant disease and to target these proteins or their downstream substrates for therapy.

We are currently focusing on a relatively uncharacterised family of protein kinases that we were the first to identify and called prostate-derived sterile 20-like kinases (PSKs, also referred to as thousand and one amino acid kinases (TAOKs)) 1-3. These proteins bind to and regulate microtubule dynamics and organisation and play key roles in controlling microtubule-dependnet processes including mitosis and neuritogenesis. Current projects are using a wide range of cell and molecular techniques to investigate the functional roles for these kinases in cancer. Recently, we have produced the first small molecule inhbitor compound for these kinases and demonstrated that these drugs can delay mitotic progression and induce mitotic cell death in centrosome amplified breast cancer cells (Koo et al. 2017). Current work is investigating these kinases as suitable targets for drug inhibition and the potential treatment of breast cancers where supernumerary centrosomes occur.

Research interests (short)

Cancer; kinase; signalling; cytoskeleton; microtubules; mitosis; drug; apoptosis; growth; division; imaging; patient.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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