Cancer is a class of related diseases that are associated with the uncontrolled growth of cells in different parts of the body. Changes in cells leading to cancer are caused by mutations in genes that lead to changes in important proteins in cancer. Understanding how genetic changes contribute to cancer is important in understanding the disease and coming up with new therapeutic strategies. Vanzyl’s current research studies a specific intermediate step required to make proteins called pre-mRNA splicing. This intermediate step is frequently altered in a variety of cancers.

During this online Science Café Erin Vanzyl, PhD candidate in the Department of Biology at Carleton University, will discuss her research on understanding how defects in pre-mRNA splicing affect cancer cells.