MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

Defining the landscape of gene-drug interactions for the 5-Nitrofuran anti-cancer drugs

Dr Liz Patton

Patton research

Genetic mutations are known to contribute to variations in cancer drug efficacy, and the concept of precision medicine derives from patient-specific variation. We have recently discovered that the pro-drugs, the 5-nitrofurans, are effective in some cancers. This PhD project will involve performing genome-wide CRISPR-CAS9 screens combined with bioinformatic approaches to identify genetic mutations that confer sensitivity to 5-nitrofurans, and then validating the new gene-drug interactions in cancer models. Genome-wide CRISPR screens have been instrumental in identifying cancer drug targets and drug suppression mechanisms, and have important therapeutic implications in the context of cancer subtype, personalized medicine, and combination therapies.