Michael Witcher holds a bachelor and a master’s degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland, as well as a doctorate from McGill University. He also undertook postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. His research career has focused on elucidating the mechanisms through which transcription becomes deregulated in cancer. Specifically, he is interested in understanding how the p16 tumour suppressor gene becomes silenced during tumorigenesis.
Why Choosing Breast Cancer?
In spite of great efforts made by the scientific community, breast cancer remains a disease that continues to have an enormous impact on our society. When he goes to work each day, Dr. Witcher sees women, many of whom still have young children, who come to receive treatment for breast cancer. This is something that moves him and motivates him to continue his search for new and more effective therapies.
A Scientific Accomplishment You Are Proud of
My lab has made several discoveries that, we hope, will lead either to the development of new therapies for breast cancer patients, or to changing the way current therapies are administered in order to increase their effectiveness or improve the patients’ quality of life during treatment. However my greatest achievement will be the day when a patient tells me: ‘the work you did in your lab has allowed me to be cured of breast cancer’.
Field(s) of Research
- Cancer biology
- Development of scientific models
2012 – Research Scholar award, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS)
Projects Funded by the Foundation
2011 – Regulation of CTCF poly(ADP)ribosylation in breast cancer
2014 – Targeting aberrant poly(ADP)ribosylation in metastatic breast cancer