Identification of gene regulatory changes involved in cancer progression by gene expression studies and bioinformatic analyses

Obi Griffith was part of a team at the BC Cancer Agency’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, that cracked the genetic code for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in April 2003. In his MSFHR-funded research, Obi is examining how changes in the regulatory sequences of DNA may lead to cancer. By comparing the activation patterns of clusters of genes in normal and cancerous tissue, Obi is working to identify genes that undergo a change in regulation leading to cancer. Once these cancer-causing mutations are identified, he will investigate the biochemical mechanisms responsible for these regulatory changes. Learning more about specific gene regulation changes that lead to cancer may lead to new ways to diagnose, predict and treat cancer using gene-based therapies.