THE SCIENCE JENNY DUNN University of Canberra Faculty of Science and Technology
Jenny studies epigenetic enzymes in aggressive cancers to understand their role in immunotherapy resistance and cancer metastasis. This T-shirt shows that epigenetic modifications, which are chemical alterations that lie ‘on top of’ the DNA, can switch genes ‘on’ and ‘off’ without changing the underlying nucleotide sequence. Immunotherapy resistance is a key clinical barrier towards improving patient outcomes in metastatic cancers, and epigenetic modifications are an important source of resistance. Specifically, Jenny’s research focuses on characterising a novel set of epigenetic drugs designed within her research group, in metastatic cancers such as breast and melanoma. Targeting the epigenetic enzymes that ‘write’ these modifications can: 1) reprogram aggressive cancer cells to respond to immune attack, and 2) reactivate suppressed immune cells to target and kill cancer cells. This means that epigenetic therapy can improve immunotherapy responses and clinical outcomes in patients with immunotherapy resistant metastatic breast and melanoma cancers.
THE ART PAW Street Artist / Graphic Designer PAW’s design illustrates the epigenetic modification that switches the genes ‘on’ and ‘off’ without changing the underlying nucleotide sequence. The design is a collaboration between Jenny and PAW, which represents Jenny’s PhD research with PAW’s trademark floating CAP on top of the scientist.
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