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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


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Academic background
Health Sciences
Host campus
Pathology and Biomedical Science (Christchurch)
Dr Martina Paumann-Page, Professor Mark Hampton


Nine out of 10 cancer deaths are a result of cancer cell invasion and metastasis. The complex process of invasion is not fully understood and new strategies to reduce cancer cell invasion are needed to improve cancer care and outcomes.

Peroxidasin, an extracellular peroxidase enzyme, has been identified to be upregulated in many types of cancer. Our work has shown that peroxidasin is a marker for invasiveness in melanoma and that removal or inhibition of it reduces melanoma cancer cell invasion. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which peroxidasin promotes invasion are currently unidentified.

Peroxidasin can impact on cellular functions either through its catalytic activity or by interacting with other proteins. We are particularly interested how its catalytic activity and the inhibition thereof affects protein expression that promotes an invasive phenotype. This work will help to elucidate if inhibition of peroxidasin activity can be used as a novel therapeutic treatment option to reduce invasion.

Methods used

Cell culture techniques, western blotting, invasion assays and microscopy will be among the methods used for this project.

Preferred student expertise

This project would suit a student with some basic knowledge in biochemistry and cell biology.

Dr Martina Paumann-Page

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