Apoptosis in cancer biology and therapyDate Added: 7/9/2009 4:31:00 PM
Last Updated: 8/25/2009 4:18:00 PM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
Defects in the control of cell death lead to a wide variety of diseases, including cancer and degenerative diseases. My research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in mammalian cells and its role in cancer therapy and biology. One central mission of cancer research is to identify key signaling pathways that cancer cells are dependent on for survival, which can be targeted for the selective elimination of cancer cells. Apoptosis evasion is a hallmark of cancer and contributes to tumor initiation, progression and therapeutic resistance, while excessive apoptosis induced by anticancer agents can cause serious collateral damage in normal tissues, particularly in the tissue stem cells. My lab has been exploring the role of the Bcl-2 family member PUMA in the response to anticancer agents and carcinogenesis. Based on the differential regulation of apoptosis inducers in cancer and normal cells, targeted and cell-based assays are being developed to identify small molecular modulators of cell death for therapeutic purposes.
Several projects are available to rotation students, including 1) apoptotic signaling triggered by targeted cancer therapies; 2) oncogenic kinase mutations and therapeutic resistance to targeted cancer therapies; 3) molecular determinants of radiation-induced intestinal injury and regeneration; and 4) the role of DNA damage and inflammation in intestinal carcinogenesis.
Techniques graduate student will learn:
Trainees will be exposed to a wide range of techniques. These include techniques in molecular and cell biology such as DNA, RNA, protein isolation, quantification and characterization, protein-DNA interaction, protein-protein interaction, and assays on apoptosis and transcription. Trainees will be involved in engineering recombinant DNA molecules, somatic knock-out and knock-in cells, stable and inducible cell lines, xenograft models, the use of genetically engineer mice, mouse tumor models. Cell imaging, intestinal histopathology and various tissue staining techniques are also commonly used. Our ongoing collaborations with drug discovery program and physicians will expose trainees to translational cancer research.
Cellular And Molecular Pathology
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