The group is focused on fundamental problems of cancer cell biology. The central among them are the properties of tumour cells associated with resistance to genotoxic treatments, in particular the relationship between induced reversible polyploidy, embryonality, and accelerated cell senescence. The hypothesis of cancer cell ‘life cycle’ has been proposed together with MS Cragg (2007). Experimental studies involve the mechanisms of autophagy contributing in genotoxic resistance. Another fundamental problem explored is organisation of the chromatin in cell nuclei, with accent on cooperative genome regulations and its physico-chemical mechanisms in general, and in in tumour and germ cells, in particular.
The founder of the lab Jānis Oļģerts Ērenpreiss (1929-1996)
The Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology was founded by Prof. Janis Oļģerts Ērenpreiss in 1971.
Jānis Oļģerts Ērenpreiss, Dr habil. Med was a theoretician and experimentator in the cell nucleus structure and carcinogenesis. He wrote several books on the theory of cancer. His last book ‘Current Concepts of Malignant Growth. Part A. From a Normal Cell to Cancer’ was published in 1993. Janis planned to write Part B. From Cancer to the Normal Cell’, however passed away before he fulfiled this plan. On the whole, from the very first experiments as a PhD student on normalisation of cancer cells by the regenerative field, he was an adept of the embryological theory of cancer, started by great scientists of the 19th century. In particular, Jānis developed the gametogenetic model of carcinogenesis. He used to say: “Nothing but cell fetalisation occurs during cancerogenesis”.
Now when the embryological properties of cancer cells due to the discovery of their stemness became so evident, the monography of Jānis Ērenpreiss in many aspects has become very actual. As well it contains a very interesting review and analysis on the complementary pair of the oncogenes c-myc and ras and on the role of proto-oncogenes in normal gametogenesis. Therefore it is republished here by Jekaterina Ērenpreisa with permission of the Publishing House "Zvaigzne" in the electronic form.