Our group’s main research subjects are melanoma genetics and tumour, mainly melanoma, immunogenetics and immunotherapy, as well as researching different immunomodulators as adjuvants in case of tumour and virus infections. Melanoma genetics has been directed towards identifying high, medium to low risk melanoma susceptibility genes and searching for inherited variations in genes that could have an effect on the outcome and treatment responce. In parallel, our group performs functional studies on the revealed genetic variants in order to understand their role in melanoma genesis. Adjuvant research has been directed towards studying different biological properties of double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) either synthetic, such as polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly IC), or bacteriophage-derived (known as Larifan; produced by Larifan Ltd) and their impact on both – the immune system and cancer cells, as well as their effect on tumour microenvironment. Furthermore, we are interested in the exploration of virotherapy possibilities in melanoma treatment.
The group has long-lasting partnership with Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital Latvian Oncology Center, Riga Stradiņš University, and “Larifans” Ltd. The group is a member of the international Melanoma Genetic Consortium GenoMEL as well as its sister consortium BioGenoMEL. In parallel, the group collaborates with German Cancer Research Center, Leiden University, Bergen University, INRCA-IRCCS in Italy etc.