Understand the disease
Target-based drug discovery starts with a thorough understanding of the disease mechanisms and the role of enzymes, receptors or proteins within the disease pathology. At the University of Sussex we have particular expertise in understanding pathways involved in DNA damage and repair. Most cancer cells have defects in their DNA damage response. If we can identify aberrations in DDR pathway functions in tumours, we can use our deep understanding of these pathways to identify new targets, either in the aberrant pathway or in a second pathway with which it shows synthetic sensitivity to cell growth or genotoxic drugs. This will allow the development of a new generation of highly tumour-specific drugs and therapeutic strategies. Using a profound understanding of how these mutations affect cellular systems scientists in the Genome Damage & Stability Centre (GDSC) at Sussex are identifying novel approaches to targeting cancer.