Scientific Programmes

Molecular Oncology Programme

Tumour Suppression Group

Group Leader:  Manuel Serrano

Tumour suppressors are genes that can prevent the development of cancer. All our cells have a functional set of these genes. However, despite their efficient protection against cancer, these genes can become defective over time. The affected cells thus become partially unprotected from cancer and, upon additional mutations in other genes, can give rise to cancer.

Understanding how tumour suppressor genes work may help us to design drugs that block cancer. Our Group also manipulates the mouse genome to create novel alterations that increase or decrease tumour suppression potency.

The goals of our Group are:
  • To understand the mechanisms of tumour suppression and to identify new tumour suppressor regulators.
  • To study the interplay between tumour suppression and ageing.
  • To analyse the involvement of tumour suppressors in the regulation of metabolism and the protection from metabolic damage.
  • To characterise cellular senescence as a tumour suppression mechanism.
  • To investigate cellular pluripotency and the involvement of tumour suppressors in the regulation of reprogramming to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
  • To explore the role(s) of cell plasticity in cancer, in tissue regeneration, and in ageing.