Dr. Joseph Lau joined the Faculty of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1986 and in 2014 promoted to Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Distinguished Member of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Dr. Lau is a member of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapeutics Program. He received his training in Biochemistry and Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1981. Dr. Lau came to RPCI after postdoctoral traineeships at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine under the directions of Dr. William Lennarz and subsequently Dr. Don Cleveland.
The central thrusts of Dr. Lau’s research program are: 1) elucidate the functional contribution of sialic acid epitopes in normal and malignant processes, and 2) elucidate the molecular pathways that regulate the attachment of sialic acids. The current main project is to examine the contribution of the sialyltransferase, ST6Gal-1, in innate and adaptive immune responses. There are a number of corollary projects to: a) examine the interaction between sialyltransferases and how this interaction influences the final outcome of sialyl-glycan structures; b) assess the biology roles of these sialyl epitopes and the cognate sialyltransferases in development of immune functions; and c) assess the influence of sialic acids in anti-tumor immunity.
The driving hypothesis of Dr. Lau’s research is that remodeling of cell surface glycan’s will alter critical tumor-host interactions, and understanding these interactions will offer clinical strategies that can lead to more effective anti-tumor immune responses and to investigate glycan-based molecular strategies for better clinical outcomes in bone marrow transplantations and in recovery from myeloablative conditions.
Lee-Sundlov MM, Ashline DJ, Hanneman AJ, Grozovsky R, Reinhold VN, Hoffmeister KM, et al. Circulating blood and platelets supply glycosyltransferases that enable extrinsic extracellular glycosylation. Glycobiology. 2016. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cww108. PubMed PMID: 27798070.
Buffone A, Jr., Nasirikenari M, Manhardt CT, Lugade A, Bogner PN, Sackstein R, et al. Leukocyte-borne alpha(1,3)-fucose is a negative regulator of beta2-integrin-dependent recruitment in lung inflammation. J Leukoc Biol. 2016. doi: 10.1189/jlb.3A0516-215RR. PubMed PMID: 27566832.
Nasirikenari M, Veillon L, Collins CC, Azadi P, Lau JT. Remodeling of marrow hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells by non-self ST6Gal-1 sialyltransferase. J Biol Chem. 2014;289(10):7178-89. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.508457. PubMed PMID: 24425878; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3945377.
Lee MM, Nasirikenari M, Manhardt CT, Ashline DJ, Hanneman AJ, Reinhold VN, et al. Platelets support extracellular sialylation by supplying the sugar donor substrate. J Biol Chem. 2014;289(13):8742-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.C113.546713. PubMed PMID: 24550397; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3979374.
Jones MB, Nasirikenari M, Lugade AA, Thanavala Y, Lau JT. Anti-inflammatory IgG production requires functional P1 promoter in beta-galactoside alpha2,6-sialyltransferase 1 (ST6Gal-1) gene. J Biol Chem. 2012;287(19):15365-70. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.345710. PubMed PMID: 22427662; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3346113.