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Affiliation: University of Southampton

Dr Zoë Walters is a Lecturer in Translational Epigenomics within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. Zoë gained a BSc in Molecular Genetics at the University of Sussex where she also obtained her PhD working on signal transduction mechanisms in the formation of the wing and leg structures in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. From there, she went to Cardiff University where she undertook research using the model organism Xenopus to uncover novel genes involved in Wnt signalling that might provide insights into tumorigenesis. Here she discovered a solute carrier involved in embryonic patterning in the frog that is linked to Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signalling. In 2008, Zoë joined Prof. Janet Shipley’s team at the Institute of Cancer Research where she investigated novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS). In 2015 Zoë was awarded a Children with Cancer UK Fellowship to study the role of an epigenetic protein, EZH2, in RMS. Zoë’s research team at Southampton focuses on aberrant epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of diseases including cancer and developmental disorders, with a view to identifying novel treatments for these diseases. Her work utilises omic data and 3D models of soft tissue sarcomas and paediatric and oesophageal cancers to identify and test novel therapeutic avenues for treatment in these tumours.

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