Tomer Shlomi, PhD
Technion Institute (Israel)
Targeting ovarian cancer via MTAP synthetic lethality
Ovarian cancer cells are genetically unstable. A deletion of the gene MTAP, which is involved in methionine metabolism, is found in 3-15% of ovarian tumors. As a result, affected ovarian cancer cells have lost a functional enzyme for metabolizing old proteins which is needed to build new proteins. Dr. Shlomi’s project will identify metabolic “back up” pathways that enable ovarian cancer cells to adapt and continue living despite losing a critical enzyme. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of these back up pathways would be very useful in targeting and killing surviving cancer cells. He will use the latest technologies including mass spectrometry and computational genome-scale metabolic network modeling approaches to identify the best ways to inhibit the back up pathways.