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Hung and Slatter Laboratory: Molecular Pathogenesis

Why do cancer cells survive and proliferate while fresh new fetal cells fade and die?

The Hung and Slatter Laboratory are interested in translating knowledge about some of the most fundamental aspects of cell fate to the bedside. Thus their work involves tissue samples from many different conditions such as precancerous lesions, cancer, the placenta, and autoimmune disease.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of brain cancer that can occur in young and old people. In conjunction with Mr Ahmad Taha (Neurosurgeon) and other collaborators the Group has found a means of subtyping tumors based around how the tumor maintains its telomeres. This classification system is being tested on a large cohort of glioblastomas, as part of our New Zealand Brain Tumour Study, to select the best treatment for each patient.

The Group has recently reported that the method of telomere maintenance employed is important in uterine cancer. By finding a means to predict which tumours will result in metastasis and recurrence at diagnosis the Group now strives to understand how telomere maintenance influences this behavior and what treatment should be used.

In conjunction with Dr Celia Devenish, in the Dunedin School of Medicine Department of Children’s and Women’s Health, the Group are establishing “The Otago Placental Study (OPuS)” as a cohort of abnormal and normal placentae for study. The Group has shown that human papillomavirus (HPV) in the placenta is a key factor in some complications during pregnancy.

Contact Tania Slatter, Noelyn Hung or Janice Royds

Our key people

Dr Noelyn Hung (Senior Lecturer)

Dr Tania Slatter (Senior Research Fellow)

Dr Janice Royds (Honorary Senior Research Fellow)