Professor; Co-Director UNC MD/PhD Program
Cancer Cell Biology
Area of interest
Our laboratory is interested in understanding the fundamental mechanism by which mammalian cells regulate their survival and death pathways. We are particularly interested in identifying differences in the apoptotic pathway between mitotic and postmitotic cells. To study this, we use a variety of models including neurons, stem cells and cancer cells.
We have identified multiple mechanisms by which apoptosis is strictly inhibited in postmitotic cells. An increased restriction of apoptosis is particularly beneficial for postmitotic cells such as neurons as they have limited regenerative potential and the need for long-term survival. Our overall goals for the cancer projects are to identify differences in apoptosis regulation between mitotic cells and neurons and utilize this knowledge to selectively kill brain tumor cells while sparing neurons.
Awards and Honors
- Mentor of the Year Award (Neurobiology Curriculum), UNC Chapel Hill (2012)
- Editorial Board, Oncogene (Nature Publishing Group) 2009- present
- Editorial Board, Cell Death and Differentiation (Nature Publishing Group) 2007-present
- UNC Chapel Hill Teaching Excellence Award (2004)
- Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator Award (2001-2003)