A pinboard by
Kyung Chan Park

I'm a PhD candidate at The University of Sydney studying cancer cell biology


Metastasis, spreading of malignant cancer cells from the original site to distant organs, is a major cause of death in cancer patients. This highly complex process involves multiple steps, where the tumor cells transform in shape (epithelial to mesenchymal transition), migrate, invade, and form a new colony at their targeted site. These steps are driven by activation of oncogenes (molecules that contribute to cancer progression) and deactivation of tumour and/or metastasis suppressor (molecules that inhibit cancer progression).

The N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is a well-known metastasis suppressor, which has been shown to inhibit metastasis in cancers of the prostate, pancreas, colon and breast. Intriguingly, however, this same molecule has been reported to promote metastasis in liver cancer. The exact mechanism(s) underlying these pleiotropic (opposing) behaviours of NDRG1 are yet unknown.

My research investigates this fascinating metastasis suppressor and its differential behaviours in different cancer-types. This research will reveal new and exciting aspects of NDRG1, which is important, as the molecule is a promising target for development of potent anti-metastatic therapeutics.