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Targeting the epigenetic signature of drug resistance in cancer

48 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Aniruddha Chatterjee
Dr Peter Stockwell
Dr Rajiv Kumar
Dr Ben Brockway
Dr Euan Rodger
Dr Matthew Parry
Professor Parry Guilford
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
Molecularly targeted therapies have significantly improved survival for lung cancer patients, but responses are short-lived due to resistance. Pre-existing genetic mutations are no longer considered solely responsible for this phenomenon. Instead, our and others’ work show that an altered epigenetic state could be critically involved in treatment evasion. However, an epigenetic signature responsible for drug resistance has not been identified. Identifying and targeting drug-resistant tumour cells can potentially revolutionise cancer therapy. My fellowship work will combine state-of-the-art whole-genome scale analyses to identify an epigenetic signature of drug resistance. Further, my research aims to develop and apply a novel high-throughput epigenomic editing tool to drug resistance to provide causal evidence of an epigenetic program driving drug resistance. My long-term vision is to develop a diverse and leading translational epigenetic research program in Aotearoa to discover new epigenetic markers, therapy and mechanism of cancer cell function to improve patient benefits and outcomes.