Welcome to the Abankwa Lab website!

The number of cancer caused deaths in the world is expected to rise from about 9M in 2015 to 15M in the next 20 years. Novel therapeutic approaches against cancer are therefore urgently needed.

Our research is focused on the oncogene RAS, which is a major driver of tumorigenesis. For 30 years, researchers have tried to develop drugs against RAS. Only recently direct inhibitors against RAS (KRAS-G12C covalent inhibitors) were developed and first results from their clinical evaluation look encouraging.

We investigate isoform specific activities of RAS at the plasma membrane, where RAS is organised into di- or oligomeric proteo-lipid complexes, called nanoclusters. Only nanoclustered RAS engages effectors and transmits specific signalling. Hence, RAS nanoclustering and other RAS isoform selective processes represent novel drug targeting opportunities.

Our core methodologies are:

  • quantitative fluorescence imaging (FRET, FRAP etc.), superresolution and confocal imaging
  • molecular cell biology (mammalian cell culture, proliferation, 3D sphere cultures, RNAi, CRISPR)
  • biochemistry (BRET, SPR, fluorescence polarization, protein interactions)