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Dr Gerard Evan, biologist

Dr Gerard Evan, biologist

H405/0058

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Credit

JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Dr Gerard Evan, British molecular biologist and expert on apoptosis, the genetically-programmed tendency of cells to die. Evan works at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, on a gene called c- myc, which is thought to act as a switch for apoptosis. If the gene is activated, the cell proliferates; if not, the cell dies. Evan has shown that the activity of c-myc is under dual control by cytokines. One group of cytokines turns cell growth on, but at the same time prompts apoptosis. A second type, called IGF-1, overrides the apoptosis prompt of the first group. Many cancerous cells have mutated c-myc, which are thus immune from IGF-1. Photographed in 1994.

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