Comprehensive Identification of Therapeutic Targets in Meningioma
Dr. Ian Dunn, MD
Prior BSF funding allowed Dr. Dunn to study the function of kinases in meningioma; since that time, Dr. Dunn has developed methods to study over 10,000 genes (including the close to 600 kinase genes) more efficiently and more cheaply and secure data derived from genome-scale RNA-interference (RNAi) screening.
An important aspect of Dr. Dunn’s project in 2010 is that, unlike prior projects, it entails additional methods of identifying cancer-causing genes in meningioma, largely due to new collaborations developed within the Broad Institute. In addition to functional genomics and RNAi screening—Dr. Dunn and his team will also study gene expression, global DNA amplifications/deletions, and mutation analysis. Taken together, these approaches will permit the combination of functional approaches via RNA-interference and structural genetic changes. Dr. Dunn has identified oncogenes in other cancer types using this approach.
The combination of several genomic approaches represents a large effort in the lab to identify oncogenes using integrated genomics; the lab is undertaking a large effort to functionally and structurally profile hundreds of cancer cell lines in a collaborative effort with several other well-established laboratories, each of which is contributing cell lines to the collaboration. In part because of funding provided by the BSF, meningioma cell lines developed by Dr. Dunn were selected as the first of over 300 cell lines from numerous laboratories to be studied. Dr. Dunn is confident that this combinatorial approach will shed new light on the genetics of meningioma.