Research in my lab focuses on understanding changes in cell signaling pathways that allow breast cancer cells to evade treatments. I am a cancer biologist with experience in cellular transformation, in vivo mouse tumor modeling, and experimental therapeutics. My experimental background is in using cell and animal models to model breast cancer biology and to test novel treatment paradigms. I am currently funded by the NCI to investigate mechanisms of therapeutic resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer. The focus of my work has been to characterize the role of a protein kinase called, HUNK, in breast cancer progression. These studies have implicated HUNK in regulating cell survival via multiple signaling pathways, and as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of breast cancer using multiple mammary tumor models. Our recent work has identified a role for HUNK in regulating cytoprotective autophagy as a mechanism for the development of chemotherapeutic drug resistance in breast cancer. We also recently determined that HUNK directly phosphorylates EGFR to regulate its downstream activity as a mechanism for metastasis. My research group is one of the only research groups to study HUNK kinase and consequently, we are uniquely positioned to advance this area of research.
Post-doctoral Fellowship - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 2011
Post-doctoral Fellowship - Duke University, Durham, NC 2006
Ph.D. - Duke University, Durham, NC 2004