J. Patrick Murphy, PhD

J. Patrick Murphy, PhD

Biology, University of Prince Edward Island

Exploring an alternative approach to targeting serine biosynthesis-dependent cancers

The use of nutrients like glucose is tuned up by cancer cells for rapid growth. One example of how glucose is used differently by some cancers is the production of a common amino acid, serine. This supports cell growth in aggressive subtypes of breast and other cancers and many scientists are focussed on blocking serine production. However, treating this “achilles heel” has proved challenging and alternative methods are desired.

Dr. Murphy aims to look at the effect of serine on the growth of breast cancer cells and to measure what interaction they have with other molecules in cancer cells.  In the long run, the project seeks to create new strategies to block the growth advantages provided by serine production in cancer cells.

Recipient of a Jarislowsky Fellowship-Banting Discovery Award.