Genome instability differentiates tumor cells from the surrounding normal cells. By exploiting tumor-specific genetic variations, anti-cancer agents can be developed that are more targeted to kill tumor cells while sparing the normal cells.
My research is mainly focused on anti-cancer drug development using C. elegans. Like yeast, C. elegans also exhibits high genetic resemblance with human, and even better it has orthologues of cancer-associated genes that are not conserved in yeast, such as BRCA1/2 and PARP. As an animal model, C. elegans is more akin to human, hinted its potential as a bridge between in vitro drug screens to mammalian cell tests.
Loutet, S.A., Chan, A.C.K., Kobylarz, M.J., Verstraete, M.M., Pfaffen, S., Ye, B., Arrieta, A.L., and Murphy, M.E.P. (2015). The fate of intracellular metal ions in microbes. In Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases (MIT Press), pp. 39-56.