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Research Fellows Directory

Ainhoa Mielgo

Dr Ainhoa Mielgo

Research Fellow


University of Liverpool

Research summary

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death. Desmoplasia (excessive fibrotic stroma) is a pathological characteristic of pancreatic cancer, and plays a key role in tumour progression and therapy resistance. Increased proliferation of cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) promotes desmoplasia and pancreatic cancer progression. Thus, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate CAFs proliferation and the development of therapeutic strategies to target CAFs is of great interest in the pancreatic cancer field. RAF proteins are serine/threonine kinases that are often hyperactivated in several types of cancer and are important targets in oncology. I recently discovered a kinase-independent function for CRAF (a member of the RAF proteins) in proliferation and survival of tumour cells (Mielgo et al., Nature Medicine). Interestingly, my findings also suggest that this new CRAF-PLK1 signalling pathway promotes proliferation and survival of fibrobla sts. Hence, the CRAF-PLK1

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Studying the impact of a non-canonical CRAF-PLK1 signalling pathway in desmoplasia and pancreatic cancer progression.

Scheme: Sir Henry Dale Fellowship

Dates: Feb 2014 - Feb 2019

Value: £810,564

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