School of Medicine
Urologic Oncology Program
Area of interest
The focus of my research group is understanding the tumorigenesis of renal cell carcinoma. Our group takes a broad approach to this cancer, utilizing mouse models, molecular strategies, and translational studies. We have developed several strains of genetically engineered murine models bearing clinically important point mutations in the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene, which is mutated in over 80% of clear cell renal cell carcinomas (conventional kidney cancer). These mice provide a tool for the in vivo study of cellular VHL activity as well as the ability to generate a number of animal model systems for tumor growth and development. We also investigate the effects of VHL on processes integral to tumorigenesis including angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, hypoxic response signaling, extracellular matrix remodeling, and cell cycle signaling. We are also interested in specific molecules which define the risk for developing metastatic disease, and we explore imaging strategies to predict responses to therapy. Finally, our work extends to finding novel targets for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma, and working to develop those therapies for eventual use in patients.
Clinical trials which incorporate translational studies of the effect of novel cancer treatments in the setting of renal cell carcinoma are ongoing. For information on available clinical trials, please call (919) 966-9696.
Awards and Honors
AACR Landon Foundation 2010 INNOVATOR Award for Research in Personalized Cancer Medicine
American Cancer Society Research Scholar
American Society of Clinical Investigation
Best Doctors, 2009, 2010