PhD Scholarship Top-up student profile: Bin Wang

Student Profile: Bin Wang TCRN PhD Scholarship Top-up awardee Bin Wang

The role of tropomyosin isoform 5NM1 in cell proliferation

Award:  Bin is the recipient of a two-year PhD Scholarship Top-up

Supervisor: Prof Peter Gunning, Professor of Oncology Research, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW

The actin cytoskeleton is known to be a key regulator of cell proliferation, although how it regulates proliferation still remains unclear. Tropomyosin isoforms, which form co-polymers with actin, determine the functional capacity of distinct actin filament populations. We have identified a specific population of actin filaments containing the Tm5NM1 isoform which regulates proliferation of primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Bin’s project aims to determine the mechanism by which Tm5NM1regulate cell proliferation.

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What translational link does your research have to cancer care?

Cytoskeletal microfilaments have become promising targets for anti-cancer chemotherapy for many years. Study on specific actin filaments which are more specific and detrimental to cancer cells (such as those structures involved in oncologic cell proliferation signaling), may give hand to develop tumor-specific toxicity drugs.  This study will provide a novel insight into the cell proliferation molecular pathway(s) regulated by Tm5NM1-containing actin filaments and implication in cancer development and progression.

The outcomes of this study will also validate and aid in the design of novel and cancer drugs targeting specific actin filament containing Tm5NM1. (Designing novel class of anti-tropomyosin compounds that target the cancer-associated isoform Tm5NM1and validating its capacity to treat numerous types of cancer cell lines is an ongoing project in our group).

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“I wish to make a difference to people who suffer from cancer. The TCRN presents a network with successful researchers and clinicians that will provide opportunities for my professional development. Meeting with patients and hearing what they truly need will get our research to the ground. Understanding other translational cancer research will undoubtedly broaden my knowledge of how to translate this research from the bench to improved patient outcomes. The collaboration between clinicians and researchers will eventually benefit cancer patients.”

Bin Wang’s PhD research has been presented by talk or poster at various conferences to date:

  •       Regulation of cell proliferation mediated by the actin filament Regulator, Tropomyosin 5NM1", conference poster, Lowy Cancer Symposium 2013, Sydney, Australia, June, 2013 
  •       Regulation of cell proliferation mediated by the actin filament Regulator, Tropomyosin 5NM1", conference poster, ASMR Medical Research Week® NSW Scientific Meeting June, 2013 
  •       "Molecular mechanisms of actin filament Regulator Tropomyosin 5NM1 regulated cell proliferation”, conference poster, 6th Garvan Signalling Symposium, 2012 
  •       "Regulation of cell proliferation mediated by the actin filament Regulator, Tropomyosin 5NM1”, conference presentation, Combio 2012, 2012
  •       "Regulation of cell proliferation mediated by the actin filament Regulator, Tropomyosin 5NM1", conference abstract, ASMR Medical Research Week® NSW Scientific Meeting 2012   

Bin Wang completed the third year of his PhD studies at the School of Medical Sciences, UNSW in 2013.