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. In the past few years covalent inhibitors against KRAS-G12C were developed and one of these, Sotorasib (AMG-510), has recently been approved as the first direct RAS drug .

We investigate how RAS isoforms drive stemness, during development and in cancer. We focus in particular on how RAS is trafficking inside the cell and how it is organised at the plasma membrane, such as in nanoclusters. We actively explore novel drug targeting opportunities of RAS-driven stemness in cancer cells.

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)