Home > Research

Research Focus & Division Overview

Cancer remains a major cause of mortality today, despite advances in diagnostic imaging technology, modern surgical and therapeutic modalities. Currently, it is estimated that cancer kills over 6 million people per year worldwide, with over 10 million new cases being diagnosed every year. Mortality is mainly attributed to dissemination of primary cancer to distant organs, for which no effective treatment is available.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers in the world which accounts for an estimated 600,000 deaths annually. Although much is known about both the cellular changes that lead to HCC and the etiological agents responsible for the majority of HCC (i.e. hepatitis B virus (HBV) or/and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, alcohol and aflatoxin), the molecular pathogenesis of HCC is still not well understood.

HCC is one of the major cancers to be studied at the MRIN during the first phase.

Possible Impact of Research Strategies

It is hoped that results from these investigations may contribute to the identification of suitable molecular markers, to the development of effective screening methods, to the improvement of conventional treatment and to the feasibility of advanced therapy for cancer.

Five core divisions within MRIN

  • The Molecular Epidemiology Division whose purpose is to study the association of genetic variations of virus, the mutation of oncogenes or the tumor suppression genes and cancer development – towards preventing the progress of carcinogenesis.
  • The Proteomic Division which develops and applies proteomic-based technology for the identification of differentially expressed or modified proteins that can serve as biomarkers for the diagnosis of cancer
  • The SNP Division wishes to develop a genetic screen for cancer predisposition that can be utilized as an early diagnostic tool and provide an effective method of improving the outcome of cancer treatment by associating Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes that are linked with cancer progression.
  • The Immunology Division seeks to understand the nature of tumor antigens including their optimal presentation and the regulatory mechanisms that govern the immune system. The purpose is to develop innovative immunotherapy intervention strategies for the treatment of cancer.
  • The Genomic Division supports the other divisions, in respect to any gene of interest, by isolating defined DNA sequences, obtaining multiple copies of it in vivo, so that the sequence may be expressed in a particular host system.
Copyright © 2008 Mochtar Riady Institute. All rights reserved.