Cellular heterogeneity characterises melanoma progression and therapy resistance. Recent advances have revealed an increasing number of melanoma cell states but little is understood about their function in vivo. We are using zebrafish models for discovery, live-imaging and functional investigation of cell states during melanoma progression and treatment to resolve the complexity of melanoma heterogeneity, reveal novel cancer biology and identify therapeutic targets.
Liz Patton is a Professor and MRC Investigator at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh, UK. Professor Patton received a BSc Honours degree from King’s College at Dalhousie University, and a PhD from the University of Toronto, working with Mike Tyers to discover how E3 ubiquitin ligases control cell division. Following this, Liz received a Human Frontier Science Programme Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Len Zon at Harvard Medical School, where she developed a zebrafish model for melanoma now used worldwide in melanoma research. Her lab uses chemical genetic approaches in zebrafish to discover new drug targets and drug-leads in melanoma biology. Professor Patton is an Editor in Chief at Disease Models and Mechanisms (Company of Biologists), and was the founding President of the Zebrafish Disease Models Society (2013-2015) and currently serves as Board member for Society for Melanoma Research. Professor Patton’s research is funded by the Medical Research Council and the European Research Council and Melanoma Research Alliance.