Ratcliffe group | Oxygen sensing
Our laboratory is studying the role of hypoxia and related metabolic stresses in driving aggressive cancer phenotypes. A specific focus is on the role of transcriptional cascades mediated by hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs). These pathways are almost universally activated in cancer, both by micro-environmental hypoxia and by direct connections to oncogene and tumour suppressors.
We are interested in both hypoxia signalling pathways themselves, and in the general implications of activating very extensive interconnected signalling pathways during cancer development. A particular focus of our work is on understanding how multiple pro- and anti-tumorigenic effects of hypoxia pathway ‘switching’ are accommodated during cancer development, including how these processes drive tumour heterogeneity, chaotic cancer cell biology, and resistance to treatment.