Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Professor of Oncology
- Member, Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics Graduate Program
- Member, Cancer Genetics CCSG (Cancer Center Support Grant) Program
Special Interests:Understanding molecular mechanisms underlying tumor suppression mediated by the RB1 and TP53 genes Identifying genes involved in prostate cancer metastasis Discerning how transcriptionally formed R-loops contribute to cancer initiation and progression
The long-term goals of my laboratory are to understand how alterations in the RB1 and TP53 tumor suppressor gene regulatory networks cause cancer. These tumor suppressor genes are two of the most frequently altered genes in human cancer, and understanding how they function at the molecular level will both refine our fundamental understanding of this disease and suggest novel therapeutic approaches to treat it. Our primary experimental approach involves creation of engineered mouse strains with informative genetic mutations, characterizing these mice and their cells to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying cancer phenotypes, and verifying these mechanisms in human cancer patient specimens.
We study a number of different types of cancer, but our current focus is on prostate cancer. We are addressing several unresolved questions. Does the order or timing of RB1 mutation influence prostate cancer phenotype? Does RB1 mutation facilitate prostate cancer metastasis? Do RNA processing and transport factors contribute to prostate cancer, and could they be used for diagnosis or treatment? How does MDM2 negatively regulate TP53 to cause cancer? Can MDM2 itself be inhibited in unique ways to reactivate TP53 and suppress tumorigenesis?