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Dr Michael Sharp

Postdoctoral Researcher, DNA repair & recombination Laboratory

Identifying new drugs for the hardest-to-treat breast and ovarian cancers

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The Problem

Current cancer treatments often involve harsh chemotherapies that take a ‘sledgehammer’ approach to the tumour and as a result can have terrible side-effects. New targeted anti-cancer therapies, which cause cancer cells to die while sparing healthy cells, are sorely needed. 

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The Project

Michael has been applying an innovative approach to identify new drugs for the hardest-to-treat breast and ovarian cancers. This work has recently provided some intriguing hints about a particular metabolite that may be involved in controlling a cell’s ability to repair damage to its DNA. This is important because new therapies that treat breast and ovarian cancers specifically target DNA repair to kill cancer cells.  

This project aims to explore the role of this metabolite in DNA repair.  

“Further investigation into how this metabolite interacts with the DNA repair machinery may also inform targeted ways that diet could potentially be used to enhance current cancer treatments,” says Michael. 

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Dr Michael Sharp

Dr Michael Sharp uses his in-depth knowledge of cellular DNA repair machinery and his technical expertise in the development of high-throughput assays to help identify new drugs for cancer. 

Michael undertook his PhD in biochemistry and immunology at James Cook University, graduating in 2015. Prior to joining SVI in 2017, Michael worked as a scientist in the Microbiology and Allergens Laboratory at the National Measurement Institute. 

Learn more about Michael's research in this short video.