Incremental steps towards the cure for cancer - Livre d'Or








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livredor
Incremental steps towards the cure for cancer
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 at 10:35 am
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This is actually something that happened a few months ago, but I didn't blog about it then because I wasn't sure how public the information was. Anyway, my former Boss S, who supervised me during my PhD, showed up in Stockholm. I went to hear her talk, being curious to know what had happened to the project I started after I left. And it turns out that she's achieved some pretty stunning stuff.

She's found two drugs with clinical potential, and one of them turns out to be an inhibitor of something called a sirtuin. Sirtuins are super, super trendy right now; they're involved in marking the DNA at a level which is termed epigenetic. They also seem to play a major role in ageing, as well as being master controllers of which genes are expressed.

She's got a very nice paper in Cancer Cell which comes out this week. Unfortunately Cell Press are still operating on the model of making people pay to read articles, so you'll only be able to see it if you're in an academic institution. But anyway, the point is that it's very satisfying to feel that the work I did was the starting point of a project that has real, practical results, that may even help to make patients better.

Boss S' career is going very well at the moment, with this work and some other impressive achievements in the past few years. There's a possibility she might take up a position here in my institute, which would be rather cool, especially as she'd likely be working with the people I collaborate with anyway. I managed to feed her dinner and catch up on some of the gossip from Dundee, so I'm pleased that worked out.

Thinking of this has given me a motivation boost to get on with the stuff I'm supposed to be doing at the moment. So I'll leave LJ and get back to that.


Whereaboooots: KI, Solna, Sweden
Moooood: accomplishedaccomplished
Tuuuuune: The Prodigy: No good (start the dance)
Discussion: 9 contributions | Contribute something
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megamole: default
From:megamole
Date:May 13th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
6 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
Very very cool. Who publishes Cancer Cell? Ooo, Elsevier. I might be able to log in :)
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megamole: default
From:megamole
Date:May 13th, 2008 09:15 am (UTC)
10 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
Bugger. My global Elsevier subscription doesn't let me get this.
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pseudomonas: eyebrow
From:pseudomonas
Date:May 13th, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 11:22 am (pseudomonas's time)
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YHM
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pseudomonas: animal
From:pseudomonas
Date:May 13th, 2008 10:45 am (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 11:45 am (pseudomonas's time)
(Link)
That looks interesting - as you say, it's good to see your protocols being used and developed. What's the tubulin acetylation stuff in the assays - is this just being used as a marker for sirtuin activity, or is it one of the direct outcomes that you're interested in?
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livredor: p53
From:livredor
Date:May 13th, 2008 10:54 am (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 11:54 am (livredor's time)
(Link)
I don't think they're really interested in tubulin acetylation as such, though there are some bits in the discussion about why that might be biologically important. In this paper, it's an endpoint for assaying sirtuin activity.

Heretically, Boss S said she wasn't necessarily interested in p53 activation as such either! She reckons that because p53 is an early responder to stress, you can treat it as a marker for things that might disrupt cancer cells without too much general toxicity. She has some side projects going on to study the mechanism of how sirtuin inhibitors activate p53, and I think she's also getting into why sirtuins are important in cancer. But her primary goal is to find new drugs, and she argues that you need to identify the target and have some idea of mechanism if you want to end up with something that you can optimize and really quantify how well it's working.
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redbird: default
From:redbird
Date:May 13th, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)
2 hours after journal entry, 07:40 am (redbird's time)
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Coolness.
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sartorias: default
From:sartorias
Date:May 13th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
3 hours after journal entry, 06:02 am (sartorias's time)
(Link)
That is seriously cool.
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darcydodo: default
From:darcydodo
Date:May 13th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
6 hours after journal entry, 10:25 am (darcydodo's time)
(Link)
Very nice.

Is she still in Dundee, rather than having moved with the lab?
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livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:May 13th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 10:40 pm (livredor's time)
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Yeah, she stayed in Dundee and didn't go to Singapore with the Überboss. I think she actually benefitted career wise with having a bit more independence; in terms of experience and seniority, she really should have been a PI long ago. She's spent the last few years effectively running her own group within the larger lab, and I'm sure that contributed to her being offered a faculty position here at KI.
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