My project focuses on finding out the molecular mechanisms behind the metastatic phenotype of Merkel cell carcinoma. This is a rare but aggressive skin cancer, with a 5-year survival rate after metastasis of 0-18%. This cancer is caused by Merkel cell polyomavirus. I study how the oncogenes encoded by this virus promote cell motility and metastasis. My work will hopefully contribute towards a novel drug target.
Stakaityte, G., Wood, J.J., Knight, L.M. et al (2014). Merkel cell polyomavirus: molecular insights into the most recently discovered human tumour virus. Cancers (in review)
Knight, L.M., Stakaityte, G., Wood, J.J. et al (2014). Merkel cell polyomavirus small T antigen mediates microtubule destabilisation to promote cell motility and migration. PLoS Pathog (in revision)