Matjaz Barboric, PhD
University of Helsinki
2020 James A. Harting Pilot Study Award
Targeting transcriptional kinases for novel ovarian cancer therapies
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecological cancer. Identifying druggable Achilles’ heels of ovarian cancer can lead to new treatments. In order to do this, Dr. Barboric will target critical enzymes called cyclin-dependent kinases (tCDKs) which control the expression of genes in cells. Although drugs that inhibit tCDKs already exist, cancer cells inevitably develop resistance against these inhibitors if they are used as the only therapy. Dr. Barboric will use state of the art genetic and chemical approaches to identify new genes and cellular pathways that can kill off ovarian cancer cells when inhibited in combination with tCDK inhibiting drugs. The findings from this study will provide important insights into how tCDKs contribute to ovarian cancer and will have strong clinical implications by revealing novel avenues for therapies against this deadly disease.