Target discovery helps identifying drug targets, molecules or molecular interactions at a critical point in a disease-causing pathway that are predicted to being amenable to therapeutic manipulation. The centre aims to link recent advances in genetics, genomics, cell and chemical biology for improved drug target discovery. A more specific focus for refining and validating such targets will provide a better link between traditional "open ended" academic processes to biomedical research and the need of the pharmaceutical industry for accurately defined targets to accelerate drug development.
BRCA1 deficiencies cause breast and ovarian cancer, rendering tumours hypersensitive to PARP inhibitors. Patient treatment can become ineffective due to emerging resistance mechanisms. Ross Chapman’s team at the Welcome Centre has uncovered a protein complex termed Shieldin that acts with 53BP1 to limit end resection at DNA double-strand breaks, which confers resistance to cancer treatment.