Molecular mechanisms: Experimental to first-in-human
Molecular mechanisms refers to the behaviour of genes and other biochemical constituents within cells. A solid understanding of molecular mechanisms underpins many of the most successful clinical therapies. However, despite the likely importance of good nutrition in helping to prevent cancer and improve outcomes after a diagnosis, its role and the molecular mechanisms in cancer prevention and management have not been a main focus for research.
Good nutrition is important both for normal and cancer cell behaviour because it determines the biochemical and hormonal environment that cells occupy. People’s patterns of diet and physical activity therefor influence cancer cell behaviour, as well as or interacting with) the gut microbiome (the bacteria that live in the large bowel), genetic predisposition, treatments including medications, or other coexisting disease. Although perhaps among the most modifiable parameters in a patient’s life, nutrition and physical activity are under-exploited in cancer prevention and treatment.
1. Establish a group of academics, clinicians, and public/patient representatives, who are interested in the molecular events that link nutrition and cancer
2. Perform research on the interaction between nutrition and cancer at the molecular level to improve quality of advice for the general public (to prevent cancer), and for cancer patients, to improve outcomes and recovery
3. Translate molecular findings to clinical trials in cancer patients
The members of this work stream have a diverse range of skills and experimental capabilities. We encourage new collaborators to contact the Work Stream chair, or Work Stream members based on expertise requirements. Although initially conceived of as a UK based collaborative network, we have growing international membership.
Led by: Dr James Thorne, Academic Fellow and Junior Group Leader, School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds
Dr Rebecca Beeken – Yorkshire Cancer Research University Academic Fellow, University of Leeds
Dr Kirsten Brandt – Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University
Professor Karen Brown – Professor of Translational Cancer Research, University of Leicester
Dr Vicky Coyle – Clinical Senior Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast
Professor Sarah Danson – Professor of Medical Oncology and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology, University of Sheffield
Dr Rebecca Harmston – Public representative
Dr Michelle Harvie – Research Dietitian, Manchester Breast Centre
Professor Mark Hull – Professor of Molecular Gastroenterology and Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist, University of Leeds
Professor Richard Martin – Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Bristol, Bristol Biomedical Research Unit
Professor Richard Mithen – Research Leader, Institute of Food Research
Dr Richard Skipworth – Consultant Surgeon, Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer and NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Clinician
Professor Paul Taylor – Professor of Chemical Education, University of Leeds
Dr James Turner – Senior Lecturer, University of Bath
Dr Steve Wootton – Associate Professor in Human Nutrition, University of Southampton
Professor Thomas Yates – Professor of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health, University of Leicester