Currently seeking 
new graduate students!

the shepherd lab

“Science, my boy, is made up of mistakes, 
but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, 
because they lead little by little to the truth.”
                    - Jules Verne, 
                      Journey to the Center of the Earth

our research

LKB1-AMPK bioenergetic stress signalling in ovarian cancer: A rapidly growing tumour can often face periods of reduced nutrient, oxygen, and intracellular ATP availability. An immediate sensor in cells that is triggered to alter metabolic pathways during bioenergetic stress to mediate cell survival is the well-conserved Liver kinase B1 (LKB1) – AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway. We discovered that LKB1-AMPK signalling is activated in ovarian cancer spheroid cells, that AMPK activation induces cytostasis, and that LKB1 is required to sustain cell survival and chemo-resistance in ovarian cancer spheroids. We are currently investigating new and established mechanisms downstream from each of these kinases to dissect their complex roles in the ovarian cancer spheroid phenotype such that effective strategies for their therapeutic targeting could be applied.