Professor Laura Machesky

Understanding how cancer cells spread

Professor Laura Machesky heads a research group at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow. She’s interested in how tumour cells move and migrate, spreading the cancer to different areas of the body.

All cells contain a dynamic network of structural molecules that controls their shape and ability to move through their environment. Normally cell movement is a tightly controlled process but cancer cells can escape these regulations, invading surrounding tissues and spreading around the body before settling to develop new tumours.

Because cancers that have spread are much more difficult to treat, Professor Machesky is studying cells in the lab to better understand this process. In doing so, the group is identifying and developing molecules that block potential drug targets to stop tumours from spreading. Since there are no direct therapies against cancer spread, research such as Professor Machesky’s is desperately needed.


All cancer types
Cancer biology
Drug discovery

The Beatson Institute, University of Glasgow