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Understanding and targeting the functional consequences of aneuploidy in cancer

Objective

Aneuploidy, an imbalanced number of chromosomes or chromosome arms, is a distinct feature of cancer. Recent years have seen conceptual, methodological and technical advances in the field of cancer aneuploidy research, but we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the underlying biology, and the potential vulnerabilities of aneuploid cancer cells remain under-explored. Cancer aneuploidy is therefore a biological enigma and a missed opportunity for cancer therapy.
Identifying the “Achilles heels” of aneuploidy remains a holy grail of cancer research. However, current models of aneuploidy fail to fully recapitulate the cellular consequences of aneuploidy in cancer, thus compromising the identification of aneuploidy-induced cellular vulnerabilities. The time is ripe to tackle cancer aneuploidy with state-of-the-art genomic and functional approaches.
In this project, I propose to address the following key questions:
1) What forces shape the evolution of aneuploidy in tumors? We will integrate in silico analyses of clinical data, in vitro modeling in isogenic human cell lines, and in vivo experiments in mice, to elucidate how various cellular contexts shape the tumor aneuploidy landscape.
2) What cellular vulnerabilities are induced by aneuploidy? We will combine isogenic cell lines with large-scale genetic and chemical perturbation screens, in order to identify, validate, and mechanistically dissect vulnerabilities induced by aneuploidy in human cancer cells.
These research aims fall well within my unique expertise. I mapped various aneuploidy landscapes and developed innovative experimental and computational tools for studying cancer aneuploidy.
A successful completion of the project will shed light on the context-dependent cellular consequences of aneuploidy in cancer and provide proof-of-concept for its potential targeting. Ultimately, identifying aneuploidy-specific vulnerabilities will pave the way for the therapeutic exploitation of this hallmark of cancer.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/chromosome
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/cancer

Call for proposal

ERC-2020-STG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Host institution

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY
Address
Ramat Aviv
69978 Tel Aviv
Israel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 612 500

Beneficiaries (1)

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY
Israel
EU contribution
€ 1 612 500
Address
Ramat Aviv
69978 Tel Aviv
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments