Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee University cancer cell research funding boost

Dr Adrian Saurin Image copyright Ubiversity of Dundee
Image caption Dr Adrian Saurin and his team will explore fundamental research into cellular division.

A Dundee University team has been awarded £1.3m to explore how the body's cells replicate themselves correctly and why this goes wrong in cancer.

Dr Adrian Saurin, of the university's School of Medicine, will use the award to carry out fundamental research into the mechanism of cellular division.

Four new posts will be created as part of the six-year study.

The funding has been provided by Cancer Research UK which said it was delighted to be involved with the project.

When division occurs, the new cells should be exact copies of the original but this process goes wrong in the vast majority of cancer cells.

The result is that cells within the same tumour often have a genetic makeup that is diverse and constantly changing. This allow tumours to rapidly evolve and overcome any challenges they may face.

Complex process

Dr Saurin and his team hope to understand the molecular basis for these errors by focussing on an area that is currently not well understood but which may have implications for other diseases.

Nell Barrie, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "We're delighted to be funding Dr Saurin's research in Dundee.

"His work will help us better understand the complex process of cell division, and some of the ways this can go wrong in cancer.

"As we build a better picture of exactly how cancer cells replicate, we may find new weaknesses that we can target with treatments."

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