Dr. Bakin graduated with honors from Moscow University and received his PhD in molecular biology from Moscow University, Moscow, Russia. He has been trained in cellular and molecular biology of oncogenes with Dr. Tom Curran at St. Jude Children’s Hospital and breast cancer biology with Dr. Carlos Arteaga at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Bakin has extensive experience in the analysis of gene expression, transcription, signal transduction and cell biological aspects of cancer, as well as in preclinical cancer models, including orthotopic and bone metastasis models of breast cancer.
Our team explores the molecular mechanisms that drive the metastatic progression and how we can eliminate the mortality associated with metastatic disease. The Bakin group has contributed to understanding the molecular mechanisms of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, invasion and angiogenesis, as well as cellular metabolic pathways such as glutathione metabolism and oxidative stress. One current project investigates how tumor cells regulate ribosome biogenesis. Aggressive cancers ramp up production of ribosomes and the molecular pathways regulating this process are important targets for therapeutic intervention. Our team investigates molecular pathways that control ribosome biogenesis using genetic approaches in preclinical cell and animal models. Another project is focused on the molecular pathways driving tumor invasion and metastatic progression. In the tumor microenvironment, TGFβ and TNF cytokines are important drivers of invasion and metastasis. Our studies revealed a complex interaction of these cytokine pathways in tumor invasion, survival, and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels). We identified novel mediators of TGFβ and TNF pathways that contribute to breast and ovarian cancer recurrence and metastases. Our team explores novel synthetic compounds for targeting these pro-invasive and pro-metastatic drivers.