Research Topic

Genetics Meets Drug Discovery

About this Research Topic


Cancer is a multistep process that arises from a series of genetic and epigenetic events. With recent technological advances there has been a burst in genome sequencing and epigenetic studies revealing a plethora of alterations that may contribute to cancer. However, the great challenge for the cancer research community is the systematic functional characterization of these genetic and epigenetic events to assess their role in cancer initiation and progression. In addition, the emerging role of the tumour microenvironment as well as the immune system in cancer development and response to therapies has made in vivo models critical to confirm and explore novel therapies targeting non-cell autonomous mechanisms.

The goal of our Research Topic is to highlight the breakthroughs in the effective use of genetically modified mouse models (GEMMs) and other in vivo and in vitro models, with a particular emphasis on genome editing that has revolutionized cancer genetics. Challenges, potential applications as well as limitations of such systems will be addressed.

We will include the following topics:
· Overview of traditional approaches to functionally characterize cancer genes
· In vitro modeling of genetic variants using ZNFs, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9
· Modeling of genetic events in the germline
· Somatic genome engineering with CRISPR/Cas9
· CRISPR/Cas9-based effectors
· Bioinformatic tools to predict CRISPR/Cas9 specificity
· CRISPR/Cas9-based genetic screens


Keywords: Genetics, mouse models, drug discovery, genome editing, CRISPR/Cas9


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.


Cancer is a multistep process that arises from a series of genetic and epigenetic events. With recent technological advances there has been a burst in genome sequencing and epigenetic studies revealing a plethora of alterations that may contribute to cancer. However, the great challenge for the cancer research community is the systematic functional characterization of these genetic and epigenetic events to assess their role in cancer initiation and progression. In addition, the emerging role of the tumour microenvironment as well as the immune system in cancer development and response to therapies has made in vivo models critical to confirm and explore novel therapies targeting non-cell autonomous mechanisms.

The goal of our Research Topic is to highlight the breakthroughs in the effective use of genetically modified mouse models (GEMMs) and other in vivo and in vitro models, with a particular emphasis on genome editing that has revolutionized cancer genetics. Challenges, potential applications as well as limitations of such systems will be addressed.

We will include the following topics:
· Overview of traditional approaches to functionally characterize cancer genes
· In vitro modeling of genetic variants using ZNFs, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9
· Modeling of genetic events in the germline
· Somatic genome engineering with CRISPR/Cas9
· CRISPR/Cas9-based effectors
· Bioinformatic tools to predict CRISPR/Cas9 specificity
· CRISPR/Cas9-based genetic screens


Keywords: Genetics, mouse models, drug discovery, genome editing, CRISPR/Cas9


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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