Professor Ashok Venkitaraman

University of Cambridge

University departments
MRC Cancer Unit
University institutes
Hutchison MRC Research Centre

Position: Ursula Zoellner Professor; Director, MRC Cancer Cell Unit
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Professor Ashok Venkitaraman is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.

Research description

Human cancer cells almost always contain abnormal chromosomes, yet the connections between chromosomal instability and carcinogenesis are poorly understood. Our laboratory aims not only to understand how cells maintain normal chromosome structure and number, and why maintenance should break down in cancer cells, but also to translate this knowledge to improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment. We employ a wide range of approaches from molecular cell biology and somatic cell genetics, to structural biology, biophysics, imaging and chemical biology. We actively translate molecular insights from our studies to clinical practice. In particular, we participate in The Cambridge Molecular Therapeutics Programme, a multidisciplinary effort that aims to pioneer innovative new approaches for the discovery and early clinical development of small molecule drugs against cancer.

Research Programme
Pancreatic Cancer
Recent publications:
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Key publications

Skoulidis, F., Cassidy, L., Pisupati, V., Jonasson, J., Eyfjord, J., Kerreth, F., Lim, M., Olive, K. Tuveson, D. & Venkitaraman, A. R. (2010) Germline Brca2 heterozygosity promotes KrasG12D?driven carcinogenesis in a murine model of familial pancreatic cancer. Cancer Cell 18, 499-505. Garnett, M., Mansfeld, J., Godwin, C., Matsusaka, T., Wu, J., Russell, P., Pines, J. & Venkitaraman, A. R. (2009). UBE2S elongates ubiquitin chains on APC/C substrates to promote mitotic exit. Nature Cell Biol 11, 1363-69. Ayoub N.A., A.D. Devaprasath, J.A. Bernal & A.R. Venkitaraman (2008). HP1-beta mobilization promotes chromatin changes that initiate the DNA damage response. Nature 453: 682-6.