Professor Richard Marais
Professor Richard Marais is the director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, and leads the Molecular Oncology research group. The group is focused on finding the underlying causes of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
Professor Marais’ team has been studying a molecule called BRAF, which is faulty in about 50% of melanoma patients. They have worked out how BRAF’s activity is controlled by the cell, and now are trying to find out which molecules the faulty BRAF is joining forces with to cause cancer. They are also looking at why some skin cancers respond better to treatment than others, and developing better ways to diagnose and monitor the disease.
The team will use what they uncover about BRAF’s role in triggering cancer to develop new drugs that target this molecule, which can be tested in clinical trials. This means the group’s lab research could directly translate into benefits for patients with skin cancer, by finding new effective treatments for the disease.
You can read more about Professor Marais’ research on BRAF here.