Pantelis is focusing on somatic mutations in healthy tissue and the implications of this in cancer and disease. As a clinician, he is interested in translating this benchside work to the bedside.
The evolutionary principles that apply to the natural world around us are strikingly similar in cancer. Cells naturally acquire somatic mutations producing a diverse picture within a tissue. With a varied population of cells competing against each other, natural selection acts to favour advantageous cells, leading to clonal expansions and the early stages of cancer. Identifying those early mutations that lead to cancer could then enable us to improve our diagnostics and therapeutics, resulting in better clinical care.
Using laser capture microscopy, genome sequencing and bioinformatics approaches, I am aiming to shed some light on the somatic evolution within the pancreas with a view of translating this into improved patient care.