Dr Andy Tee has taken up the position of leader of our signalling and stem cell research. We thought you might like to know more about him and his research so we put a few questions to him...
Can you tell us a bit about your research…
I research on a rare genetic disease syndromes (such as Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)) that increase the risk of tumours where there is little to no treatment. My lab focuses on discovering why these tumours develop, allowing us to identify new drug therapies. Rare diseases are a useful resource to investigate cancer, where new discoveries in rare diseases allows us to better understand how cancers develop within society.
How does your research benefit patients?
My research has resulted in new and clinically approved therapies for the treatment of TSC patients world-wide, enhancing their quality of life through reducing tumour growth and stabilising disease. Furthermore, my research into these genetic disorders, whilst rare, gives us the unique opportunity to explore cancer disease mechanisms resulting in a wider clinical impact on society.
What were you doing before you started working at Cardiff University?
I was scientifically trained in Dundee University in Scotland on ‘exploiting cancer vulnerabilities’ that led to me acquiring my own postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard. My scientific interest was a perfect fit for the research strengths at Cardiff University, where TSC patient clinical trials developed my basic research findings into new therapies.
What’s the best bit about your job?
The ‘scientific journey’ with a team of like-minded and motivated researchers, where we collectively tackle a fundamental problem that is a key patient priority. I enjoy the close involvement with patients, families, charities, clinicians, industrial partners and politicians, as we develop our budding scientific discoveries into something more impactful.
How do you like to relax after a busy day in the lab?
I don’t currently relax much, as I have two young daughters that are very active. I bought them both scooters for Christmas, and I have a sneaky go on them too.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of how my young scientists develop in academia as they integrate into my research team and become a valued member. Seeing their motivation and drive, and patient involvement is inspiring, and I am very fortunate to play a role in their personal scientific journey.
What do you hope to achieve as a member of the WCRC’s leadership team?
I want to help strengthen the ‘All Wales Cancer Research’ theme that we are building, by increasing collaborations with industry, academia and the health services through out Wales.