Healthier kids, brighter futures

What We Do

Research in the Cell Biology Unit, led by Assoc. Prof. Tracy Bryan, focuses on one of the major factors in at least 85% of all cancers affecting children and adults: the molecule telomerase.

Cancer cells use telomerase to keep growing uncontrollably; thus telomerase is a key target for future cancer treatments, which are predicted to have fewer side effects than current radiation and chemotherapy. We aim to understand the biological and biochemical properties of telomerase in order to rationally design better anti-cancer treatments with fewer side effects. 

“Blocking telomerase could become an effective therapy for cancer, displaying broad scope for many types of cancer while also being specific for cancer cells, resulting in fewer side effects than current therapies. There are many gaps in our knowledge of how telomerase works. This not only makes it a fascinating enzyme to study scientifically, but also means that we have much to learn before rationally designing telomerase inhibitors as potential therapeutics.” – Associate Professor Tracy Bryan