Studies on cell killing in normal and cancer cells

Lead researcher

Dr Hamsa Puthalakath

Molecular Genetics of Cancer Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Years funded

To maintain healthy tissues, any cells that become damaged must eliminate themselves. This process of programmed cell death, termed apoptosis, must be carefully controlled. If too few cells die, tumours such as those of blood cells may result. Apoptosis is regulated by the regulated synthesis or turnover of killer proteins such as BIM inside the cell. Understanding the biochemical and molecular mechanisms by which these killer molecules are regulated may lead to the development of novel ways to treat cancers.