Translational Cancer Biology

Potential Preceptors, Departmental Affiliation & Research

Bioinformatics Health

  • Xiaowen Liu, Ph.D.: uses RNA-Seq and mass spectrometry to analyze three cell systems that are derived from an immortalized breast epithelial cell line hTERT-HME1

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

  • Uma Sankar, Ph.D.: Interested in understanding the role of the calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase (CaMK) signaling cascade in cell biology and how its alterations contribute to disease. We use global and conditional knockout mouse models as well as pharmacological inhibitors to investigate the mechanisms by which one of the upstream kinases in the CaMK cascade, CaMKK2 along with its downstream kinases AMPK, CaMKI and CaMKIV, as well as targets regulate the fate and function of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, bone cells and well as prostate cancer.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • Peter Hollenhurst, Ph.D.: understanding how genomic sequence dictates gene expression and how this process goes awry in cancer.
  • Heather Hundley, Ph.D.: to understand the biological impact of double-stranded RNA and RNA editing on post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in both normal and cancerous cells.
  • Thomas D. Hurley, Ph.D.: better elucidate the roles of aldehyde dehydrogenase isoenzymes in tumor resistance to oxazophoshorines, such as Cytoxan
  • Jaeyeon Kim, Ph.D.: ovarian cancer
  • Suk-Hee Lee, Ph.D.: Eukaryotic DNA replication: 1) identifiation and characterization of potential target protein(s) involved in the regulation of DNA replication. 2) analyses of the molecular mechanisms that regulate DNA replication in response to extracellular signals, particularly DNA damage.
  • Samy Meroueh Ph.D.: centered on using three dimensional structure of proteins targets to design small molecules that modulate their function
  • Amber L. Mosley, Ph.D.: focused on the interplay between RNA Polymerase II transcription and chromatin. Proper regulation of RNA Polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription is essential for accurate gene expression and genome stability
  • Ronald Wek, Ph.D.: The mechanisms regulating a family of eIF-2 protein kinases and the physiological advantages this altered pattern of gene expression provides for stressed cells

Department of Biology-Bloomington

  • Brian Calvi, Ph.D.: My laboratory primarily uses Drosophila as a model to investigate the cell cycle control of genome duplication and stability, with a focus on cancer mechanism. Two current major lines of research in my lab investigate how epigenetic modification of chromatin influences DNA replication, and how the apoptotic DNA damage checkpoint is linked to modified cell cycles during development

Department of Dermatology

  • Elliot Androphy, M.D.: Mechanism of human papillomavirus–induced malignancies. Development of novel antiviral drugs. Mechanism of p53 tumor suppression.

Department of Medicine

  • Asok Antony, M.D.: Folate Receptors and Folate Metabolism
  • Darron Brown, M.D.: Human papillomaviruses (HPV)
  • Utpal Dave, M.D.: oncogenic pathways in the pathogenesis of T-cell leukemias and lymphomas.
  • Sherif Farag, M.D., Ph.D., FRACP, FRCPA: a) Development novel approaches to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, including safer approaches to alternate donor transplantation through depletion of alloreactive T cells, utilization of KIR mismatches between donor and recipient, harnessing Treg cells, and NKT cells. b) Development of novel agents and regimens for the treatment of multiple myeloma. This includes pre-clinical research of novel agents (drug development).
  • Evan Fogel M.D.: Pancreas Cancer Screening
  • Mark Geraci, M.D.: lung carcinogenesis focused on translational studies examining the role of eicosanoids (in particular prostacyclin, PGI2) in the development of lung tumors
  • Theresa Guise, M.D.: Effects of cancer and cancer treatment on skeleton.
  • Christie Orschell, Ph.D.: Stem cell biology in human and murine systems, including isolation, functional characterization, ex vivo expansion, and gene transfer.
  • David Roodman, M.D., Ph.D.: Role of bone cells in normal and pathologic conditions in particular myeloma.
  • Catherine Sears, M.D.: investigates the impact of DNA damage and repair on the pathogenesis and treatment response of lung cancer.
  • Todd C. Skaar, Ph.D.: clinical pharmacology with an emphasis on breast cancer and endocrine therapies used to treat and prevent breast cancer
  • John Turchi, Ph.D.:  Repair of chemotherapy–induced DNA damage and DNA double strand break repair.

Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics

  • Yunlong Liu, Ph.D.: systems biology approaches to understand regulatory mechanisms of gene expression, including transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional regulation, and epigenetic regulation.
  • Anirban Mitra, Ph.D.: The role of microenvironment regulated microRNAs in promoting ovarian cancer metastasis
  • Hiromi Tanaka, Ph.D.: 1) To identify regulatory mechanism of telomerase in normal and cancer cells, 2) Studies connecting the telomere with the DNA damage response, 3) To establish a biomarker for early cancer detection and determine the mechanism of telomere dysfunction

Department of Medical Sciences

  • Kenneth P. Nephew, Ph.D.: Breast and ovarian cancers; cancer epigenetics (DNA and histone methylations); steroid hormone action (estrogen receptor signaling)
  • Heather M. O’Hagan, Ph.D.: Understanding of the mechanism and molecular progression of inflammation-induced epigenetic changes to be able to develop treatments that reverse these epigenetic changes after exposure and therefore prevent disease formation
  • Claire Walczak, Ph.D.: interested in the molecular mechanisms that control assembly of the spindle and how the spindle ensures accurate chromosome segregation.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

  • Janice S. Blum, Ph.D.: Immune regulation, autoimmunity, biodefense, HLA, tumor and viral immunity, vaccines.
  • Hal E. Broxmeyer, Ph.D.: Regulation of the self-renewal, survival, proliferation, differentiation and migration of hematopoietic, embryonic, and induced pluripotent stem cells, and hematopoietic progenitor cells, cytokine-cell interactions, intracellular signaling, in-vivo preclinical and clinical assessment, modulation by gene transfer/gene therapy.
  • Randy R. Brutkiewicz, Ph.D.: Inhibition of anti-tumor immunity by invariant natural killer T cells and manipulation of these events through gene transfer.
  • Mark H. Kaplan, Ph.D.: Stat4 immunobiology, modulation of immune cell reactivity and function by transcription factors such as Stat 3, 4 and 6.
  • Sophie Paczesny, M.D., Ph.D.: discovery and validation of biomarkers for complications post-transplant.
  • Louis M. Pelus, Ph.D.: The mechanisms by which bioactive cytokines and growth factors control cell proliferation, differentiation and migration, and how these pathways can be leveraged to define new therapeutics and new therapeutic applications.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

  • Shannon Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.: the functional role of microRNA (miRNA) molecules in benign and malignant diseases of the female reproductive tract, in particular, endometrial cancer, endometriosis, and endometriosis-associated ovarian cancers

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

  • Timothy Corson, Ph.D.: focuses on the application of chemical biology approaches to problems in ocular cancer, specifically retinoblastoma and uveal melanoma

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Melissa Kacena, Ph.D.: 1) understanding the role of osteoblasts in the hematopoietic stem cell niche. Specifically, to better understand the role of osteoblasts, bone marrow stromal cells, and megakaryocytes in expansion and longevity of hematopoietic stem cells. 2), study the role of Mdm2 and megakaryocytes in regulating tumor progression and metastasis in osteosarcoma.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

  • D. Wade Clapp, M.D.: Biochemical and phenotypic effects of heterozygous inactivation of NF1, regulation of hematopoiesis and mast cell production, neurofibromatosis/NF1, gene transfer with retroviral, lentiviral and foamy viral vectors.
  • Reuben Kapur, Ph.D.: Molecular genetics of normal and leukemic stem/progenitor cells.
  • Mark R. Kelley, Ph.D.: Molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry of eukaryotic DNA base excision repair (BER) genes for basic science and translational applications to treat cancer and small molecule inhibitors of targeted DNA repair genes for anti-angiogenesis and tumor microenvironment therapies.
  • Lindsey Mayo, Ph.D.: to examine the regulation of tumor suppressors and oncogenes. 1. The factors involved the induction and regulation the activity of the Mdm2 oncogene in a breast model system of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT).
  • Jamie L. Renbarger, M.D.: To Study the pharmacogenetics of anticancer agents. My current research focus is on the pharmacogenetics of the vinca alkaloids in children.
  • Kent Robertson, M.D., Ph.D.: The role of nuclear retinoic acid receptors, apoptosis, and base excision repair in myeloid leukemia and neuroblastoma cell differentiation
  • Jingwu Xie, Ph.D.: to investigate signal transduction of the hedgehog pathway and its role in the development of cancers.
  • Mervin Yoder, M.D.: Cellular and molecular approaches are combined to elucidate the role of endothelial cells and endothelial colony forming cells in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells throughout murine ontogeny
  • Baohua Zhou, Ph.D.: focuses on a new cytokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and its function in immunity and diseases.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

  • Travis J. Jerde, Ph.D.: to understand how these signaling interactions promote epithelial proliferation and allow damaged cells to escape cell death in the inflamed prostate

Psychological and Brain Sciences-Bloomington

  • Andrea Hohmann, Ph.D.: identify novel therapeutic interventions for pain that lack abuse liability and adverse side-effects

Department of Radiation Oncology

  • Joseph R. Dynlacht, Ph.D.: Elucidating the mechanisms of radiation-induced and heat-induced cell killing. Development of radiation countermeasures that may be useful for treatment of mass casualties following a radiological terrorism incident or criticality accident. Development of novel compounds that can be used as adjuvants to radiotherapy and thermal therapy (hyperthermia and thermal ablation). Development of agents that mitigate the side effects of radiotherapy.

Department of Radiology and Imaging Services

Department of Surgery

Department of Urology

School of Medicine

  • Jay L. Hess M.D., Ph.D., M.H.S.A.: focused on the mechanisms of Hox gene regulation by the mixed lineage leukemia protein, MLL, transcriptional deregulation by MLL fusion proteins, and the role of Hox genes in hematopoiesis and leukemia.

 School of Nursing

  • Victoria L Champion, Ph.D., RN: Behavior Oncology
  • Susan Rawl, Ph.D.: Cancer screening, prevention, early detection and quality of life
  • Sheri Robb, Ph.D.: cancer research goals are to (1) maintain a funded program of interdisciplinary research to develop, test, and translate music-based interventions to manage distress, improve positive health outcomes, and prevent secondary psychosocial problems in children/adolescents with cancer and their parents and (2) establish evidence-based practice through funded effectiveness and translational trials.

School of Science

  • Catherine Mosher, Ph.D.: to improve the physical and psychological health of individuals diagnosed with cancer and their family caregivers