Dr Victoria Harle
My projects focus upon trying to identify novel synthetically lethal targets within cancer cells. Synthetic lethality is the concept that the loss or disruption of two particular genes at the same time is lethal for a cell, whereas the loss of either one alone does not impact cell viability. This is something that can potentially be exploited in cancer therapies as multiple genes are often already altered in cancer cells. Indeed, there are examples of this approach been used successfully in the clinic, with the best-known example the use of PARP inhibitors in cancers lacking BRCA. We are currently undertaking multiple customized CRISPR-Cas9 screens with the aim of identifying new synthetically lethal gene targets.