High-level Research Update

node leader
25 September 2019

The following is a summary of the key research being funded by the EHERCC at the current time.

  1. Dr Rubin: Our largest donations to date have been our continued support for Dr Rubin, particularly his drug and compound screening research and ongoing work to develop the world’s first EHE mouse model. We hope to be sharing further positive updates from Dr Rubin soon.
  2. Zebra fish: we engaged the Bateson Centre at the University of Sheffield in 2018 to research and develop a Zebrafish model of EHE.  They are making great progress and we have extended the project by another year.
  3. Endothelial Cells and the Hippo Pathway: at the beginning of this year we started to fund a 4 year PhD project at the University of Manchester looking at how EHE affects the development of endothelial cells and how it deregulates the Hippo Pathway which is a key process in our cells. We are just at the start of the project really but are already seeing some very interesting results. They are also hoping to develop an EHE cell line which would be huge.
  4. Blocking the TAZ-CAMTA1 fusion protein: Together with the USA and Australia we are funding Dr John Lamar at the Albany Medical College in New York. His research is looking for targets to try and block the TAZ-CAMTA1 fusion protein that drives EHE. He only started in July but has already identified a number of potential mechanisms that show promise. That’s great progress already. There’s a long way to go still, but it’s exciting.
  5. EHE Biobanking: in July we also started a collaboration with the Marsedn-ICR Joint Sarcoma Research Group. The first step in this collaboration is to fund the position of EHE Tissue Manager, which started also in July, and is a role that will be pulling together all the historical data and samples at the Royal Marsden Hospital; developing an ongoing tissue and blood sampling programme that we hope every patient will join; will extend the established programme across the UK; and then (we hope) will extend it across European centres.

We are continuing to discuss other projects with different groups and hope to start further projects in the near future, all within our internationally integrated programme coordinated with our sister groups in the USA and Australia.

We will continue to provide periodic updates through our news stories. Additional information can be seen in the Research section of this website; in editions of our quarterly newsletter, The Pledge, and in the charity’s annual reports.

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