Cancer researcher awarded £1.5 million research grant

 14 October 2019   Grants and awards

Jesús Gil, Head of the Cell Proliferation group at the LMS, has been awarded a highly competitive and prestigious grant from Cancer Research UK (CRUK). Gil has been awarded five years of funding to work on their project entitled ‘Investigating splicing during oncogene-induced senescence: biological role and therapeutic potential’. The project will involve a collaboration with research teams across the UK – including the group of Santiago Vernia at the LMS – Germany, USA and Portugal.

Jesús Gil shared more about the project with us:

“Oncogene-induced senescence is a stress response that results in the growth arrest of preneoplastic cells. Senescent cells also display other characteristics such as an inflammatory response, called senescence associated secretory phenotype or SASP, which can paradoxically contribute to tumour progression. My lab has a long-standing interest in understanding how the SASP is regulated. As part of these efforts, my lab discovered an unexpected role of alternative splicing – a method used by the cell to produce different proteins from the same piece of DNA – and particularly the splicing factor PTBP1 in this inflammatory SASP phenotype. We want to further examine how PTBP1 influences cancer progression. We also want to get an idea of the bigger picture and examine the link between splicing and senescence in the context of cancer.”