- Assistant Professor, Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology
Mechanisms of tumor progression and homeostasis
Systematic discovery of oncogenic drivers: A significant part of out efforts has been focused on developing a streamlined research approach for systematic or informed ways of defining oncogenic drivers. We have established a tractable model in which candidate genes are characterized in pre-malignant cells using virus-mediated gene manipulation including CRIPSR-mediated mutation.
Transcriptional regulation during tumor progression:
A majority of solid tumors have somatic alterations in transcription factors and chromatin modifiers, e.g. MYC and CREBBP/EP300. These factors may be at crucial nodes for oncogenic signaling pathways, causing aberrant expression of a broad range of genes related to cell proliferation and death. We characterize the deregulated transcription programs to identify potential therapeutic targets.
Signaling pathways in tumor progression and homeostasis:
Developmental and growth factor signaling pathways, including Hh and Wnt, are deregulated in cancer cells; Modulation of the signaling pathways would be a viable therapeutic strategy. Using mouse models and biochemical approaches we characterize the pathways in the context of tumor development and chemo-response.
Metabolic plasticity during tumor progression:
Altered metabolism plays important roles in tumorigenesis; however, oncogenic alterations in metabolism may vary among tissue types and be specific to oncogenic driver. Defining metabolic plasticity unique to tumor progression would provide important opportunities to design preventive strategies involving nutrition or drugs with low-toxicity.
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