Blocking cell movement for cancer, MS treatment

Professor Shaun McColl.

Professor Shaun McColl.
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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

University of Adelaide researchers are finding new ways to block the movement of cells in the body which can cause autoimmune diseases and the spread of cancer.

Led by Professor of Immunology Shaun McColl, the researchers have identified molecular "receptors" on the surface of cells which are involved in helping cells migrate to sites where they can cause disease.

"A number of diseases like cancer and autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis, involve the inappropriate migration of cells," says Professor McColl.

"Our research shows that these receptors which help the cells migrate can be blocked pharmacologically, preventing the cell migration which causes the disease."

Professor McColl will present these findings tonight, Tuesday 9 February, at the first of the University's Research Tuesdays free public seminar series for 2010.

The researchers have identified a number of such receptors in multiple sclerosis and have developed potential therapeutic drugs that could control this disease, and other autoimmune diseases.

They are also in the process of identifying receptors on the surface of metastatic cancer cells.

"These are exciting research outcomes and will offer new treatments for these diseases which affect millions of people," says Professor McColl.

Professor McColl is Head of Chemokine Biology, Deputy Head of the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science and Deputy Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

WHAT: Research Tuesdays: 'Commanding Health: How controlling the movement of cells can lead the fight against cancer, infection and autoimmune disease.'
WHERE: Law Lecture Theatre 2, Ligertwood Building, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
WHEN: 5.30pm Tuesday 9 February
COST: Free. Please book by email: or phone: (08) 8303 3692


Contact Details

Professor Shaun McColl
Director, Centre for Molecular Pathology
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 4259
Mobile: +61 414 303 425

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814