Professor and Chair
The Soares lab has a longstanding interest in the epigenomic translation of environmental factors in cancer development and prevention. We are studying the impact of fat diets in a mouse model of prostate cancer [Wang et al., 2003, Cancer Cell 4: 209-221], and in collaboration with Dr. Sergey Malchenko, we are investigating the role of the microenvironment in the malignant transformation of radial glial cells in a mouse model of PNETs.
Epigenetic modifications, like histone acetylation and methylation are essential for regulating gene expression patterns that facilitate and sustain tumorigenesis. Targeting enzymes controlling epigenetic alterations is a promising approach, recently bolstered by the identification of mutations in medulloblastoma. Immunotherapy can lead to clinical benefit in selected cancer patients, especially after tumor debulking. The direct effects of epigenetic modifiers on immune cell function, remains largely unexplored. My lab research focuses on the potential beneficial effects of HDAC inhibitors in combination with immunotherapy by elimination of tumor cells.
The Fukuchi lab is investigating how the immune system is involved in the etiology and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The lab applies such knowledge to the development of rational immunotherapies for the disease and its prevention and tests their efficacy and safety in animal models.
Infections remain one of the greatest challenges and a major cause of mortality in immunosuppressed patients. We study bacteria, fungi and viruses in acute lymphocytic and myeloid leukemia in order to better understand, treat and prevent bloodstream infections. We also investigate the microbiota, its alterations and effects on disease progression and severity. Our main goal is to utilize this knowledge to develop new therapeutic approaches and prognostic factors in childhood leukemia.
In my neurotoxicology laboratory we have recently characterized a mouse model of neuroinflammation that recapitulates Gulf War Illness. This model utilizes subchronic exposure to physiologic stress, which greatly enhances the expression of pro-inflammatory mediator genes to acute organophosphate (a nerve gas surrogate) administration. My group is also studying a rat model of chronic exposure to environmental levels of manganese (Mn) during early development in order to simulate the clinical condition observed in young children.
Visiting Research Associate Professor
One of the goals in the Malchenko lab is to provide a venue for communication and education in the field of stem cell experimental models of human diseases to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. We are motivated by the opportunity to expand interdisciplinary collaborations in exploring a recently developed animal model of Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors.
In our laboratory, we study the effects of intermittent hypoxia/HIFs on tumor cell clonogenicity, differentiation and tumorigenicity using in vitro and in vivo approaches. These studies should generate major insights into the pathogenesis of intermittent hypoxia-induced alterations in neuroblastoma tumors and in turn should suggest novel targets for therapeutic interventions.
The Velpula laboratory is involved with the development of novel gene therapy strategies targeting cancer cell metabolism for the treatment of malignant gliomas. Another area of interest is mechanisms of metastasis and proliferation in medulloblastoma progression. With active clinician involvement, we are focused upon translating these results to new clinical treatments.
In order for cells to survive environmental stresses and maintain homeostatic balance, a complex cellular signaling network integrates information about the external and internal environment. In cancer, deregulation of signaling disrupts the normal and well controlled physiological homeostasis and enables cancer cells to grow and metastasize during periods of environmental stress. Yoon lab’s interest is to biochemically and molecularly decode cancer cell signaling, specifically PI3K/Akt, mTOR, and Ras/ERK signaling networks, to form a strong basis for cancer therapeutics.
The Zakharian lab is focused on studying the temperature and pain receptors in context of the sensory nervous system and various cancers. We are interested in the structure-function relationship of TRP channels and their role in tumor development.
J.W. Dailey, PhD
J.T. Hjelle, PhD
P.C. Jobe, PhD
M.A. Miller-Hjelle, PhD, ABMM
Faculty with Joint Appointments
J.C. Aldag, PhD
A. Christison, MD
P. DeAlarcon, MD
D.H. Dinh, MD
K.S. Fernandez, MD
J.F. Graumlich, MD
J.M. Kramer, PhD
J. D Klopfenstein, MD
S.E. Martin, MD
J.C. Milbrandt, PhD
Y. Nersesyan, MD
D.M. Pinson, PhD
Neil J. Price, PhD
M.E. Ross, MD, PhD
A. Tsung, MD