It is vital that organisms achieve the correct balance between proliferation and quiescence for normal development and in tissue homeostasis. In cancer, the signalling pathways regulating this balance are perturbed to drive cancer cell proliferation. However, cancer cells also use mechanisms of cellular quiescence as a means to escape the effects of chemotherapy and to remain dormant at metastatic sites. Therefore, to treat cancer and eradicate tumour cells more effectively, it is vital that we understand how cells enter, maintain and exit quiescent states. Our lab combines quantitative, single-cell time-lapse imaging with bioinformatics, proteomics and mathematical modelling to understand the molecular mechanisms that control proliferation-quiescence decisions in human cells.
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