Ludwig Cancer Research is a global non-profit organisation, committed to improving the understanding and control of cancer though integrated laboratory and clinical discovery, with nine centres in seven countries. The Oxford branch, based at the University of Oxford, was established in 2007 with Xin Lu as the branch director.
A major challenge to effective anti-cancer therapy is tumour heterogeneity as some cells are more responsive to therapy than others. To develop more effective cancer therapies we need to understand the origins and molecular switches that determine cancer cell heterogeneity.
To combat tumour heterogeneity, the Oxford branch scientists are researching a wealth of different molecular mechanisms with transcription factors (molecular switches of cell fate and hence tumourigenesis) being a major theme of their research. One of the main research focuses is the identification of target selectivity of transcription factors in cell growth or death (Xin Lu), stem cells and differentiation (Colin Goding), as well as hypoxia and oxygen sensing (Peter Ratcliffe). This research is complemented by transcriptional networks governing the formation of blood vessels (Sarah de Val), genetic markers that indicate how a cancer cell will respond to therapy (Gareth Bond), epigenetic regulators of cell fate (Skirmantas Kriaucionis and Panagis Filippakopoulos), post-translational regulation of molecular signalling (John Christianson),pathogen recognition receptor-induced ubiquitin signalling (Mads Gyrd-Hansen) and a computational biology approach to gene expression (Benjamin Schuster-Böckler).
The overall aim of Ludwig Cancer Research, Oxford Branch is to translate the discoveries made in the lab into the clinic for the benefit of patients, with their research helping to aid in the future diagnosis of cancer and the design of more effective, individualised treatments. The research groups at Ludwig Cancer Research, Oxford Branch, have strong overlapping interests whilst maintaining sufficient diversity to enable sharing of ideas and technologies. By working in a collaborative environment, both locally within the University of Oxford and also internationally within Ludwig Cancer Research, our scientist maximise their research potential.