Cancer Cell Biology
Area of interest
Our laboratory is broadly interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by cell signaling pathways and the role of pathway cross-talk in cancer biology. In particular, the cAMP signaling cascade directs adaptive cellular responses to a variety of stress stimuli via a combination of acute affects arising from GS-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated activation of PKA and long-term affects resulting from transcriptional reprogramming directed by CREB and the CREB Regulated Transcription Coactivators (CTRCs). We are applying an interdisciplinary approach to study the consequences of aberrant activation of the cAMP/CREB/CRTC signal circuit on these adaptive responses and how cooperative signaling with other pathways promotes oncogenic processes in oral, head, and neck cancers. The information gathered from these studies is being directed towards drug discovery efforts.
We employ a wide variety of state-of-the-art technologies such as in vivo optical imaging and high-throughput methods including cell-based screening, genomics, and proteomics approaches. The lab recently developed novel LumiFluor® optical reporters and are now implementing these reporters for the non-invasive, high resolution in vivo optical imaging of tumor development, progression, and response to therapeutic intervention in genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) of cancer.
Awards and Honors
2012-2017 Career Development Award, Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award in Cancer Research (K99/R00), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Health (NIH)
2012 Invited Speaker, NIH Workshop on Salivary Gland Tumor Research, Bethesda, MD
2011-2012 Postdoctoral Fellowship, PGA National Women’s Cancer Awareness Days Fellowship
2011 Training Award, AACR Scholar-in-Training Award, 102nd AACR Annual Meeting
2008-2011 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Post-Doctoral Fellowship (F32), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Health (NIH)