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Research Project by Kazuhiro Nakamura, M.D., Ph.D

RNA interference now allows us to easily investigate phenotypes caused by loss of function of specific genes in culturing cells. In combination with robotic high throughput screening, RNAi silencing is a powerful tool to seek undefined characters of any genes even in a genome-wide scale without any bias from our current knowledge. Concomitantly, mining unique genes, which may have a crucial role in cancer cells but not in normal cells, by using RNAi screening potentially provides us with a hint to explore new tactics to eradicate tumors with minimized disadvantages to normal cell growth and their functions. On the other hand, a huge amount of accumulating evidence indicates that MAP kinases are characterized as a crucial molecule in an aberrant signaling pathway or oncogene addiction in cancer cells. My goal in this research is to pursue the roles of molecular components in MAPK pathways and their related genes altered in a process of tumorigenesis using siRNA screening and consequently to develop a new strategy for cancer treatment.

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