Dr Sakari Vanharanta
Sakari completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland, where he attended the MD/PhD programme. After graduation, he spent a year in clinical training before joining the laboratory of Joan Massagué at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as a postdoctoral fellow. During this time his main focus was on clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), a tumour type characterized by initiating mutation in the von Hippel-Lindau tumour suppressor (VHL) and consequent activation of HIF transcription factors.
This work established a model whereby genetically activated oncogenic pathways undergo further epigenetic modulation in order to support metastatic phenotypes, thus providing insight into the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression. He joined the MRC Cancer Unit in 2013.