Dr Hamish's McMillan's research aims to improve the treatment of metastatic breast cancer by understanding what factors drive metastases. In particular, he’ll be focusing on FOXA1, which is a transcription factor – a protein that is inolved in “reading” DNA and controlling which genes are expressed. This could be regulating which cells metastise and which don’t.
Dr McMillan will be looking at differences in FOXA1 activity between primary and metastatic tumours in mice. The results of his research could have huge implications for the way metastatic breast cancer is treated, similar to how discovering the role of estrogen receptors has allowed us to treat ER-positive breast cancers.