At the forefront of cancer drug development and treatment design
Using state-of-the-art experimental approaches in genomics, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, imaging, biochemistry, and animal modeling, the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at Roswell Park is making breakthrough discoveries in new cancer therapies.
What we do
- Identifying novel molecular targets for therapeutic development
- Characterizing the mechanisms of action and preclinical development of novel drug candidates
- Clinical translation of in-house developed anti-cancer therapeutics
- Developing mechanism-driven novel combination therapies
Our researchers collaborate extensively with each other, with other scientists at Roswell Park and elsewhere, and with partners in the pharmaceutical industry, to leverage expertise from a variety of disciplines.
We also participate in Roswell Park’s CCSG Developmental Therapeutics (DT) Program and The Research Groups (TRG) for specific cancer types, and the University at Buffalo (UB) graduate training programs (mainly, the Experimental Therapeutics (ET) program)
Spotlight: Developmental Therapeutics Research Program
How can we use new treatments to target cancer cells and reduce the body’s resistance? Scientists across Roswell Park are studying how to develop and translate novel mechanism-driven anti-cancer therapeutics and therapeutic regimens.
Training the next generation of scientists
In addition to our research and community outreach, the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics is actively involved in hands-on teaching with Master’s and PhD students in our highly competitive graduate studies program.
Our multidisciplinary education model allows students a unique immersive experience, preparing them for successful careers as independent investigators.
Research interests: Stem cell development; cancer stem cells; cancer cell heterogeneity; prostate cancer; non-coding RNAs; epigenetics experimental therapeutics
2020 PanCan Grant Recipient: Fengzhi Li, PhD
A few common themes have guided the decisions of Fengzhi Li, PhD: Find meaning. Do good. Stay focused.
In fact, whether the hardship faced is pancreatic cancer or the coronavirus pandemic, his advice to others is, “If you have a goal – whatever the goal is – never give up. Persistence is the key for reaching your goal.”
- Shi Y, Liu C, Liu X, Tang DG, Wang JC. The microRNA miR-34a inhibits non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) growth and the CD44hi stem-like NSCLC cells. PloS one. Forthcoming.
- Steck SE, Omofuma OO, Su JL, Maise AA, Woloszynska-Read A, Johnson CS, Zhang H, Bensen JT, Fontham ET, Mohler JL, Arab L. Calcium, Magnesium, and Whole Milk Intake and High-Aggressive Prostate Cancer in the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP). AJCN. Forthcoming.
- Ji Y, Kumar R, Gokhale A, Chao HP, Rycaj K, Chen X, Li Q, Tang DG. LRIG1, a regulator of stem cell quiescence and a pleiotropic feedback tumor suppressor. Semin Cancer Biol. 2021 Jan 18;. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2020.12.016. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 33476721; NIHMSID:NIHMS1686091.
- Quaglia F, Krishn SR, Wang Y, Goodrich DW, McCue P, Kossenkov AV, Mandigo AC, Knudsen KE, Weinreb PH, Corey E, Kelly WK, Languino LR. Differential expression of αVβ3 and αVβ6 integrins in prostate cancer progression. PLoS One. 2021;16(1):e0244985. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244985. eCollection 2021. PubMed PMID: 33481853; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7822502.
- Wang X, Jin L, Hu C, Shen S, Qian S, Ma M, Zhu X, Li F, Wang J, Tian Y, Qu J. Ultra-High-Resolution IonStar Strategy Enhancing Accuracy and Precision of MS1-Based Proteomics and an Extensive Comparison with State-of-the-Art SWATH-MS in Large-Cohort Quantification. Anal Chem. 2021 Mar 23;93(11):4884-4893. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.0c05002. Epub 2021 Mar 9. PMID: 33687211
- Zhang Y. The root cause of drug resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer and the therapeutic approaches to overcoming the resistance. Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Feb;218:107677. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2020.107677. Epub 2020 Sep 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 32898548; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7855784.
- Liu B, Kumar R, Chao HP, Mehmood R, Ji Y, Tracz A, Tang DG. Evidence for context-dependent functions of KDM5B in prostate development and prostate cancer. Oncotarget. 2020 Nov 17;11(46):4243-4252. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.27818. eCollection 2020 Nov 17. PubMed PMID: 33245716; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7679033.
- Antoch MP, Wrobel M, Gillard B, Kuropatwinski KK, Toshkov I, Gleiberman AS, Karasik E, Moser MT, Foster BA, Andrianova EL, Chernova OV, Gudkov AV. Superior cancer preventive efficacy of low versus high dose of mTOR inhibitor in a mouse model of prostate cancer. Oncotarget. 2020 Apr 14;11(15):1373-1387. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.27550. eCollection 2020 Apr 14. PubMed PMID: 32341756; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7170500.
- Aquila L, Atanassov BS. Regulation of Histone Ubiquitination in Response to DNA Double Strand Breaks. Cells. 2020 Jul 16;9(7). doi: 10.3390/cells9071699. Review. PubMed PMID: 32708614; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7407225.
- O'Malley J, Kumar R, Inigo J, Yadava N, Chandra D. Mitochondrial Stress Response and Cancer. Trends Cancer. 2020 Aug;6(8):688-701. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2020.04.009. Epub 2020 May 22. Review. PubMed PMID: 32451306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7392807.
- Yadav N, Gogada R, O'Malley J, Gundampati RK, Jayanthi S, Hashmi S, Lella R, Zhang D, Wang J, Kumar R, Suresh Kumar TK, Chandra D. Molecular insights on cytochrome c and nucleotide regulation of apoptosome function and its implication in cancer. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2020 Jan;1867(1):118573. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2019.118573. Epub 2019 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 31678591; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7733678.
- Knudsen ES, Nambiar R, Rosario SR, Smiraglia DJ, Goodrich DW, Witkiewicz AK. Pan-cancer molecular analysis of the RB tumor suppressor pathway. Commun Biol. 2020 Apr 2;3(1):158. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-0873-9. PubMed PMID: 32242058; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7118159.
- Chen R, Liang X, Murray MM, Karasik E, Han JJ, Zhu M, Foster BA, Frigo DE, Wang G. A simple quantitative PCR assay to determine TRAMP transgene zygosity. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2020 Sep 7;. doi: 10.1038/s41391-020-00282-4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32895469; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7936990.
- Affronti HC, Rowsam AM, Pellerite AJ, Rosario SR, Long MD, Jacobi JJ, Bianchi-Smiraglia A, Boerlin CS, Gillard BM, Karasik E, Foster BA, Moser M, Wilton JH, Attwood K, Nikiforov MA, Azabdaftari G, Pili R, Phillips JG, Casero RA Jr, Smiraglia DJ. Pharmacological polyamine catabolism upregulation with methionine salvage pathway inhibition as an effective prostate cancer therapy. Nat Commun. 2020 Jan 7;11(1):52. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13950-4. PubMed PMID: 31911608; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6946658.
- Goey AK, With M, Agema BC, Hoop EO, Singh RK, van der Veldt AA, Mathijssen RH, van Schaik RH, Bins S. Effects of pharmacogenetic variants on vemurafenib-related toxicities in patients with melanoma. Pharmacogenomics. 2019 Dec;20(18):1283-1290. doi: 10.2217/pgs-2019-0101. PubMed PMID: 31829834.
- Santha S, Ling X, Aljahdali IAM, Rasam SS, Wang X, Liao J, Wang J, Fountzilas C, Li Q, Qu J, Li F. Mutant Kras as a Biomarker Plays a Favorable Role in FL118-Induced Apoptosis, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Production and Modulation of Survivin, Mcl-1 and XIAP in Human Bladder Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Nov 18;12(11):3413. doi: 10.3390/cancers12113413. PMID: 33217967
- Wang Z, Kwan ML, Pratt R, Roh JM, Kushi LH, Danforth KN, Zhang Y, Ambrosone CB, Tang L. Effects of cooking methods on total isothiocyanate yield from cruciferous vegetables. Food Sci Nutr. 2020 Oct;8(10):5673-5682. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.1836. eCollection 2020 Oct. PubMed PMID: 33133569; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7590320.
Women in Science: Pamela Hershberger, PhD
In 2019, Pamela Hershberger, PhD, came upon a stunningly significant finding in her research lab.
“Patients with higher vitamin D levels continued to respond better and for a significantly longer time with the medications, compared to patients with lower or deficient levels of Vitamin D. It was a very exciting moment, seeing that it might be possible to extend responses with an easy-to-use, inexpensive vitamin.”