BLS Seminar Series 31th of January 2024 - Kerri Marie (Manchester University)

developmental biology, cancer biology and computational biology

"My research experience retains a strong modelling theme - spanning from developmental biology to cancer biology and now to computational biology. I completed my PhD at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh, supported by the University of Edinburgh. My work focussed on developmental models of embryonic melanocyte development and regeneration in the zebrafish model, with a view to uncovering novel pathways that are regulated in development but dysregulated in disease. My work here was centred around chemical-genetics techniques, drug screening and timelapse confocal imaging of the melanocytic lineage. From this work I became fascinated with how melanocyte lineage pathways are dysregulated in melanoma progression. I moved to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to develop my expertise in mouse models of melanoma metastasis and therapy resistance. My work here centred on mouse experimental metastases models, models of Immune Checkpoint Blockade (ICB) resistance, 'Omics analyses of melanoblast development and melanoma disease progression, fundamental molecular biology of Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) stress biology, single-cell technologies and computational analysis.

From here, my work is coming full circle and I am excited to continue this trajectory in the multidisciplinary environment of the University of Manchester as a Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellow. I will continue to implement my developmental biology background to shed new light on embryonic lineage cell states that are re-acquired during melanoma metastasis. Particularly I will focus on mechanisms of regulation of a new Col6a1-expressing melanoblast subpopulation and an analogous Col6a1-expressing melanoma phenotype".

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