Re-wiring epithelial homeostasis: Papillomavirus targeting of the Hippo signalling

Biography

I am undertaking my PhD in virology in the Macdonald lab at the University of Leeds. I completed an MBiol in Microbiology in 2018 also at the University of Leeds.

My Project

My project is focused on dysregulation of the Hippo signalling pathway in Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancer. Cervical cancer is the 4th most frequent cancer in women worldwide. Over 99% of cervical cancer cases are caused by high-risk HPVs, which have been also linked to cancers at other sites including head and neck cancers. High-risk HPVs encode two major oncoproteins, E6 and E7 which promote oncogenesis through the dysregulation of host signalling pathways but many of E6/E7’s interactions remain unknown. The Hippo signalling pathways is a recently discovered tumour suppressive pathway which has been documented to be dysregulated in many cancers. My aim is to understand how HPV manipulates the Hippo signalling pathway to promote oncogenesis utilising a range of cell biology techniques. As the Hippo signalling pathway is targeted therapeutically in cancer, it is possible that understanding Hippo signalling pathway dysregulation in HPV-related cancers could lead to the development of novel therapeutic treatments.