Dr Mills is a Reader at Queen’s University Belfast and leads the Prostate Cancer Focus Group and is the Associate Director of Postgraduate Research for the Cancer Centre. He is also a Honorary Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. His research focus is on stress adaptation in prostate cancer, in particular in responses to metabolic dysregulation and therapy. He is currently working on how this impacts in particular on inflammatory signalling to promote a mesenchymal phenotype with an interest in developing additional models to study this in earlier stages of prostate cancer.
Seminar title: Stress responses in the development of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is driven by the androgen receptor which interplays with other transcription factors and contributes to metabolic dysregulation as the disease develops. This creates imbalances in metabolite pools imposing stresses on cancer cells affecting DNA repair fidelity as well as protein folding and RNA processing. A number of compensating pathways enable cancer cells to accommodate these stresses with feedback effects on inflammatory and interferon signalling. The talk will illustrate how, by interrogating gene networks regulated by key oncogenic transcription factors, it is possible to identify regulatory hubs that control adaptive stress responses and, if targeted, enhance responses to conventional therapy.