Studying the relationship between stem cells and neoplasia
Professor Clarke's main interest is in the molecular basis of cancer, particularly in the very early stages when cells initially diverge from normality.
His research team has expertise in modelling intestinal, breast and prostate tumours and the ability to use these to study the relationship between normal stem cells and cancer stem cells, and how these different cell populations contribute to tumorigenesis. His group also has a track record in preclinical testing of new drugs for breast cancer, which is now being extended to intestinal and prostate tumours.
It is anticipated that Professor Clarke's group will work with the Research Institute on the genetic origins of cancer stem cells, and the susceptibility of these cells to existing and new therapies. His laboratory will also develop new models to directly test the relevance of cancer stem populations and their role in tumour development.