About Thomas Surrey
Every cell has a cytoskeleton - a complex scaffold of tiny tubes that gives it structure and shape. Unlike the bones that do the same job in our bodies, the cell skeleton is very dynamic. Parts of it can be dismantled or built up to change how the cell behaves.
The cell skeleton is vital for cells to work properly. For example, when a cell copies itself to make two new cells, it needs to copy all of its genetic instructions. The cell skeleton makes a special structure that acts as a pulley system, ensuring that each new cell receives a complete set of these instructions.
Healthy cells give clues about cancer
But in cancer cells essential processes like this often go wrong. Scientists like Dr Surrey are working to understand how our cells normally behave so that they can find ways to fix the problems that arise when cancer develops.
Dr Surrey is investigating how the different components of the skeleton work together and how this influences the cell’s behaviour. His team is using a variety of cutting-edge lab techniques, including microscopes that are so powerful that researchers can observe individual molecules.
Dr Surrey’s groundbreaking discoveries will lay the foundations for innovative new ways to treat cancer in the future.