2023 ANZSA Sarcoma Research Grant Recipient - Dr. Carolyn Shembrey

2023 ANZSA Sarcoma Research Grant Recipient - Dr. Carolyn Shembrey

Introducing Dr. Carolyn Shembrey, one of the four ANZSA sarcoma research grant recipients of 2023! Dr. Shembrey has received funding from ANZSA and the Kicking Goals For Xav Foundation to fund her project, Harnessing CRISPR-Cas13 to ablate ‘undruggable’ sarcoma drivers.

Dr. Shembrey is a postdoctoral researcher working on oncogene-directed mRNA therapeutics at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She completed her PhD in 2021 at The University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research, where she interrogated the landscape of NK cell activity in metastatic colorectal cancer. Her current research focusses on engineering novel CRISPR-based molecular tools that selectively ablate oncogenic transcripts, with a particular emphasis on targeting single nucleotide variants (SNVs) at the RNA level.

In her project, Dr. Shembrey and her team will repurpose a revolutionary RNA-degrading technology called CRISPR-Cas13 to target undruggable mutations. Many high-frequency mutations that drive sarcomas are considered “undruggable”, meaning that there are no existing therapies that can effectively target these mutations.

The overall goal of this technology is to establish pipelines for the development of personalized drugs targeting patient-specific mutations. This approach has the potential to revolutionise sarcoma treatment and may provide cutting-edge therapeutic options for sarcoma patients with ‘undruggable’ mutations.

ANZSA and Kicking Goals for Xav look forward to seeing the results of Dr. Shembrey’s project in the future.