More than 30 percent of all human cancers – including 95 percent of pancreatic cancers and 45 percent of colorectal cancers — are driven by mutations of the RAS family of genes.
Our primary research focus is to discover new treatments for cancers that involve the Ras signal transduction pathway.
Ras proteins are small GTPases involved in the regulation of many cell activities including cell growth and survival. Some mutant forms of Ras cause the protein to be permanently “switched on” which leads to unchecked cell growth and proliferation, and ultimately cancer. Mutant Ras genes drive some of the most aggressive and difficult to treat cancers, and are the most common human oncogenes.
We use a combination of biochemical, genetic and structural techniques to study the Ras signal transduction pathway and to develop drugs to target Ras both directly and indirectly.