PHD student Sarah Williams and her supervisor, Dr Mike Cahill
Piecing the jigsaw together
PhD student Sarah Williams is part of a team of CSU researchers working with scientists in Germany to better understand a protein that has been linked with cancer.
sing cell culture in the laboratory at CSU in Wagga Wagga, Sarah Williams and her supervisor, Dr Mike Cahill, are looking at the protein PGRMC1, and how it interacts with other proteins in pancreatic cancer cells. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Dusseldorf are looking at the same protein and what it does in breast cancer cells. “In 2008, the results of a collaboration Mike led in in Germany with Professor Hans Neubauer’s group were published. This research found that the protein PGRMC1 was modified in breast cancer,” Sarah said. “Mike was the co-founder and Chief Research
Officer of a German Biotechnology company when he coordinated the German Human Genome Project consortium including Neubauers’ group, and they’ve both been working together on it ever since Mike returned to work at CSU Australia in 2008. “Basically, we are looking at the proteins that are differentially expressed in cancers, the proteins they interact with and the pathways that are involved, because if we know what pathways are altered in cancer, we could potentially target those pathways and develop cancer therapies.” Last year, Sarah was awarded funding from the