Ian Watson, Ph.D.

Skin melanoma is one of the fastest rising cancers. It is also the deadliest form of skin cancer. Sun and UV exposure are major risk factors for the development of melanoma. This is due to the fact that UV rays can change the DNA of normal cells. These DNA changes, called mutations, can turn a normal cell into a cancer cell. My research focuses on identifying UV-induced mutations in melanoma. In this proposal, I will test which of these mutations cause melanoma using a new research tool. I will determine which mutations affect the response to melanoma therapies used in the clinic. My work may help explain why some patients respond to certain treatments and others do not. This is information is important to know. It will allow doctors to prescribe drugs that are most likely to work for a specific patient. Ultimately, I will use findings from this proposal to develop new therapeutic strategies to treat melanoma.

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