Photo of Emmy Verschuren

Emmy Verschuren

  • PL 20 (Tukholmankatu 8)

    00014

    Finland

19972019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Background

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Curing late stage disseminated lung cancer is challenging, as cell populations are highly heterogeneous both molecularly and histologically, and often genomically unstable. Despite promising progress in treatment strategies that harness anti-tumour immunity, therapeutic resistance limits clinical efficacy. A shift to early cancer detection and prevention is therefore necessary, and this requires an improved understanding of the biological basis of cancer initiation in its physiological niche.

 

Research Overview

We take a comprehensive approach to tackle challenges in the field of lung cancer research, progressing from mouse model systems of cancer to human disease cohorts. First, tumour-initiating events are identified in murine lung cancer cohorts, comprised of validated and putative driver combinations expressed in tissue progenitor cells. Second, we apply pathology-specific functional and immune profiling studies to identify drivers of malignancy. Third, we implement a mouse-to-patient comparative personalised medicine study, establishing the ability of cultured cells and tissue explants to reliably predict or validate in vivo drug sensitivities.

 

Research Directions

Foreseeing rapid technological advances in personalised cancer diagnostics, we aim to implement our gained insights in the rational design of cancer treatment and intervention strategies. To achieve these goals, our research increasingly interfaces with biobanking and translational infrastructures available at FIMM, associated Life Science Biocentres, and the Helsinki University Hospital. We collaborate with pulmonary surgeons, clinicians and pathologists to implement personalised disease profiling on patient tumour samples. These efforts will permit us to evaluate whether the functional diagnostic elucidation of patient tumour-selective therapeutic vulnerabilities has the potential to benefit the health of locally-treated cancer patients.

Fields of Science

  • 3111 Biomedicine
  • 3122 Cancers

Fields of Science

  • 3111 Biomedicine
  • Cancer biology
  • Lung cancer
  • Cell biology
  • Precision medicine
  • Diagnostics
  • Tumour heterogeneity
  • 3122 Cancers
  • NSCLC

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.
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