Molecular analysis of genes governing melanoma development and progression Date Added: 7/30/2003 1:59:00 PM
Last Updated: 6/1/2004 8:51:00 AM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
Malignant melanoma is a disease that develops in defined stages. To determine which genes play an important role in the stage-specific progression pathway of this malignancy, it is essential to isolate and characterize genes that are differentially expressed in the early versus the late stages. Using molecular and newly developed optical imaging techniques, we focus upon studies that govern signaling events in melanoma precursor lesions, and in early and advanced-stage melanomas. In particular, we focus upon growth factors and their receptors that regulate the cross talk between melanoma cells and the melanoma-interspersing vasculature, and cell adhesion molecules that are essential for melanoma invasion and metastasis formation. Using intratumoral gene targeting in combination with live in vivo imaging, we capture and record important gene interactions as they occur in human melanomas grown as subcutaneous in nude mice. In addition to these studies, we pursue scientific avenues that involve the analysis of novel genes, which are expressed in normal human melanocytes but not in malignant melanomas and thus, may function as potential tumor suppressors of human melanoma.
Techniques graduate student will learn:
Screening of cDNA and genomic libraries; RT-PCR; Northern and Southern blot analysis; tissue culture; fluorochrome-based immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization; in vivo imaging of tumors
Cellular And Molecular Pathology
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