Multidisciplinary Discovery Research
The Multidisciplinary Discovery Research theme is focused on supporting collaborations that will elucidate previously uncharacterised processes in the development of a spectrum of tumour types. By exploiting key mechanisms in the establishment of disease we can provide the rational basis for the development of strategies to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancers. With a focus on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of cancer development, growth and spread, areas of interest include the development of tools and methodologies that allow the:
• Visualisation and characterisation of biological processes in longitudinal studies of cancer progression – in both cellular model systems and in vivo models (mouse models) – to understand tumour heterogeneity and evolution
• Understanding the physical relationship between the tumour and its environment through the recapitulation of the tumour microenvironment, including the interplay with the immune system
• Visualisation of therapies in vivo to understand mechanism of action, emergence of resistance and combination strategies without modifying the behaviour of the therapy itself
• Development of technologies and tools that enable and facilitate discovery research into fundamental principles of cancer biology.
Underpinning this theme is the use and development of cancer organoids as 3D in vitro cancer models, which recapitulate the disease in humans. These models are amenable to the development of new technologies and methodologies that will extend their utility to address cancer questions. In addition, the development of new methods will lead to the creation of complex data sets requiring new mathematical approaches to maximise data interpretation, usability and predictive modelling.