Characterisation of ALK point mutations detected in neuroblastoma/lung cancer as drivers of passengers in cancer progression and evaluating their sensitivity to ALK inhibitors


University of Gothenburg

Prof. Bengt Hallberg,
Prof. Ruth Palmer

Supervisor

Publication Link Publication Link (RP)

ORCID Link (BH)

Mechanisms of transformation in lymphoma


Research Interest

Bengt Hallberg has been working with receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated signalling since the beginning of the 1990’s. Recently his research has been addressing the role of ALK in the pathogenesis of neuroblastoma and has shown a dependence on ALK for MYCN transcription. He is investigating the function and importance of ALK RTK’s and differences in constitutively active ALK RTK mediated signalling at the molecular level as compared with wild type ALK in relevant cell models. This work is also carried out in mouse models which we have developed in with the aim of addressing ALK signalling in vivo.

Ruth Palmer has been working with ALK in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster since 1996. The laboratory is investigating ALK signal transduction with an interest in its role in developmental processes employing Drosophila melanogaster and mouse model systems. Our aim is to understand the importance and function of the ALK receptor tyrosine kinase during both normal and pathological developmental process.

Joanna Szydzik

Research student

ORCID Link

 

Personal Statement

Joanna received research master’s degrees from Department of Chemistry at Wroclaw University of Technology and from Department of Biochemistry at National University in Galway. In her research she investigated the potential anticancer properties of Gram-negative bacteria lysis products. She focused on finding novel lipopolisacharide modifications which reduce toxicity while maintaining anti-metastatic properties of mouse melanoma (in vivo) and on human endothelial cell lines (in vitro). In her second project she focused on the characterisation of cell death mechanism caused by the pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus and understanding its mechanistic signalling pathways in intestinal cancer cells. Her interest in scientific research has been transforming constantly while learning all the possibilities that research could bring to our human well-being to ameliorate the sufferings of many lives. In ALKATRAS program she will characterise ALK point mutations detected in neuroblastoma/lung cancer as drivers or passengers in cancer progression and evaluating their sensitivity to ALK inhibitors.

Research description

Characterisation of ALK point mutations detected in neuroblastoma/lung cancer as drivers or passengers in cancer progression and evaluating their sensitivity to ALK inhibitors

Expected Results:
Production of data to define the potential for these 3rd generation ALK inhibitors in a clinical setting; provide additional options to currently used ALK inhibitors for therapy resistance.

Planned secondment(s):
Year 1: TissueGnostics (PO#2) – analysis of tissue arrays for protein expression – 1 month;
Year 2: UNIMB – assessment of novel inhibitors in alternative model systems – 2 months

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