the shepherd lab

“The occasional success, to the striver, 
  is worth EVERYTHING.”
                    - Mary Oliver

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.