Fundamental and translational studies in cancer have been a longstanding emphasis of the department.
Learn more about our work below.
Cell-to-cell adhesion molecules' integration of mechanical and signaling functions in skin and heart differentiation, disease and cancer.
Dr. Green's research program focuses on how cell-cell adhesion molecules and their associated proteins integrate mechanical and chemical signaling pathways to contribute to the development and maintenance of multicellular tissues. In particular they are investigating how specialized intercellular junctions called desmosomes are assembled and function in ways that transcend their classic textbook definition as spot welds. The lab has shown that desmosomal cadherins help control the balance of proliferation and differentiation and even regulate the production of cytokines that participate in paracrine signaling. Loss of this “brake” results in increased allergic and inflammatory pathways that underlie pathogenesis in inherited disease and possibly cancer, including melanoma. Desmosomes also integrate the functions of other intercellular junctions including gap junctions and interfering mutations can cause lethal heart arrhythmias.
The lab uses a multi-faceted approach, including but not limited to collaborative atomic structure determinations, molecular genetics, live cell imaging, human tissue engineering and gene targeting approaches. Dr. Green serves as Associate Director for Basic Sciences in the R.H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.
For more information, see the faculty profile of Kathleen J Green, PhD.
See Dr. Green's publications in PubMed.
Role of MDia1 in the pathogenesis of del(5q) myelodysplasic syndromes
Our lab is interested in how cytoskeletal signaling, motor proteins and adhesion systems are integrated with chemical signaling pathways to regulate cell behavior and tissue differentiation and disease. The Ji lab studies small G proteins and downstream actin regulatory effectors that participate in enucleation during red cell development.
At the level of the nucleus, the Ji laboratory studies genes involved in erythroid lineage commitment, chromatin condensation and enucleation towards understanding how congenital red cell disorders and leukemia develop.
For more information, visit the faculty profile of Peng Ji, MD, PhD.
See Dr. Ji's publications in PubMed.
Principal Investigator:Janardan Reddy, MD
Research Focus: Role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR alpha) and nuclear receptor coactivators in energy metabolism, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocarcinogenesis
Our lab collaborates with the Rao lab to investigate non-genotoxic of peroxisome proliferator-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. The work is predicated on the concept that sustained reactive oxygen species-induced oxidative stress promotes peroxisome proliferator-stimulated liver cancer development, through a receptor-mediated transcriptional mechanism. The discovery of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors PPAR subfamily of nuclear receptors was followed by recognition that PPARalpha is responsible for peroxisome proliferator-induced responses, including hepatocarcinogenesis.
We are examining how ligand activated nuclear receptors and their co-activators drive of biological processes that determine T cell fate, hepatocellular proliferation and hepatocarcinogenesis and estrogen-dependent breast cancer progression.
Principal Investigator:Guang-Yu Yang, MD, PhD
Research Interest: Interaction of genetic mutations and inflammation in the pathogenesis of pancreatic and colon cancer
The Yang lab is interested in cancers of the GI tract including liver, pancreas and colorectal. The long-term objective of their studies is define molecular mechanisms and chemoprevention strategies for chronic inflammation-driven carcinogenesis. They study how inflammation and nitro-oxidative stress contribute to DNA damage, cell proliferation and inflammation-driven carcinogenesis.
A major goal of Yang group is to develop chemoprevention strategies for cancers of the pancreas, liver and gut. They are particularly interested in dietary nutrients, antioxidants, green tea and inositol compounds to target these cancers.
Principal Investigator:Ximing J Yang, MD, PhD
Research Focus: Prostate carcinogenesis, kidney carcinogenesis, pathogenesis of benign and malignant lesions of the bladder, biomarkers of genitourinary tumors, and testicular pathology related to infertility.
We are engaged in the identification of new markers of genitourinary cancers.