Our laboratory uses mouse models to understand the molecular mechanism of prostate cancer initiation and progression in order to rationally design therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of the disease. The ultimate goal of the laboratory is to use preclinical testing of potential therapeutic agents to identify promising compounds for clinical use in the treatment of cancer.
I am the Director of the Mouse Tumor Models Resource (MTMR) at MTMR, which facilitates animal models research for Roswell Park investigators. The need for the MTMR arises from the multitude of mouse models of cancer that have been established and characterized. The appropriate use of mouse models requires an in-depth working knowledge of the strengths and limitation of each model, and MTMR provides this expertise. The MTMR provides a full range of services to support animal research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center including serving as a consolidated resource for maintenance of breeding colonies (transgenic, bigenic and trigenic), collection and archiving of samples from MTMR’s murine models (tumor bank), consultation services, development of breeding strategies for genetically engineered mouse models, and technical support for animal studies.
As MTMR’s Director, along with Dr. Barbara Foster, Scientific Director, we provide scientific oversight as well as consulting services for individuals contemplating the use of the mouse models in their research. The MTMR also provides technical expertise for training or for performing surgical and procedural techniques associated with data collection and tissue procurement. To facilitate in this role, the MTMR has two full-time laboratory technologists that can assist investigators or perform these duties which include implantation of cells and tissues subcutaneous, sub-renal capsule, and orthotopic (i.e. prostate, mammary gland). Other services provided include, but are not limited to, collection of animal related data such as measurement of tumors, daily monitoring of health, collection of blood samples, harvesting of tissue, resection of primary tumors, prostatic dissection, tissue procurement, data management, tissue fixation, Immunohistochemistry (IHC), and other histological services.
Dr. Foster and I are also the Co-Directors of the Rapid Tissue Acquisition Program (RTAP) at Roswell Park. RTAP is a collaborative initiative between Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Upstate New York Transplant Services (Unyts) to establish a mechanism to rapidly obtain “normal” non-cancer tissue and the lethal phenotype of cancer from donors. RTAP is a comprehensive program that enriches the Roswell Park’s CCSG programs and research activities across campus. The purpose of RTAP is to obtain and bank tissue samples for research purposes that are not readily available through standard surgical procedures. The RTAP tissue bank provides previously unattainable research materials needed by Roswell Park investigators. Initially RTAP focused on the collection of tissue from young, healthy donors and metastatic tumor from end-stage cancer donors. Tissue collection and banking efforts by RTAP is based on the identified needs of Roswell Park’s research community.
This work and core development has been supported in part by the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation and the CCSG core grant.