Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
Cancer Pharmacology
Research efforts in cancer pharmacology include studies of the basic mechanisms of signal transduction associated with cell proliferation and apoptosis, the mechanisms of action of anti-neoplastic agents, the design and discovery of new drugs, basic mechanisms of DNA repair and DNA damage tolerance and the development of novel strategies for gene therapy.

Emphasis is placed on the description and characterization of basic signaling mechanisms that constitute the targets of molecules used for cancer therapy and DNA damage and repair mechanisms that contribute to anti-neoplastic drug resistance. The regulation of tyrosine kinases, processing of proto-oncogenes, regulation of small GTPases and their effectors, cell-cycle-specific kinases and DNA repair gene products are being studied as potential targets or to enhance the efficacy of existing chemotherapeutic agents. The role of growth factors in the progression of solid and hematopoietic tumors is being studied; new receptors and signal transduction pathways are being identified in normal and malignant tissues.

Other areas of research include investigations on interleukin therapy, free radical generation, molecular mechanisms of antioxidant regulation and detoxification, aberrations in the mechanisms of programmed cell death (apoptosis) associated with tumoral growth and alterations in DNA repair and DNA damage response genes associated with tumor growth and chemotherapeutic resistance.

Primary faculty who study Cancer Pharmacology (Click to see their detailed research profile)

Daniel Altschuler - G-protein signaling mechanisms in mitogenesis and oncogenesis
Ferruccio Galbiati - Signal transduction mechanisms in muscular dystrophy and ageing/cancer.
Eun-Ryeong Hahm
Yi Huang
Yu Jiang - Signaling mechanisms for cell growth control; Regulation of protein kinases and phosphatases
Yael Nechemia-Arbely - Research in the lab is focused on understanding the structure, composition and maintenance of the epigenetically defined human centromeres.
Carola Neumann
Roderick O'Sullivan - Study of the consequences that defective chromatin assembly and altered epigenetic mechanisms may have in cancer and aging.
Steffi Oesterreich - Molecular mechanism and clinical relevance of endocrine response in breast cancer
Shivendra Singh - The Singh laboratory focuses on preclinical and clinical investigations of novel agents derived from dietary (eg, broccoli) and medicinal plants (eg, Withania somnifera) for chemoprevention of cancers.
Laura Stabile
Nilgun Tasdemir
Qiming Jane Wang - Targeting protein kinase D by small molecular inhibitors for cancer therapy; signaling mechanisms of protein kinase D in cancer.
Stacy Gelhaus Wendell
Lin Zhang - Genetic basis of differential responses to anticancer drugs and mechanisms of drug-induced apoptosis.

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