Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
Lee Lab Magee-Womens Research Institute, B705

The main focus of the laboratory is to understand how insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) regulate breast transformation, and how this knowledge can be used for successful treatment of patients. This research involves basic studies into the mechanisms of IGF signaling including proteomic and transcriptomic analysis, and comparison to the highly related insulin receptor. The laboratory has created and/or characterized transgenic mice overexpressing most members of the IGF signaling family (IGF-I, IGF-IR, IRS1 and IRS2) and all develop mammary tumors. The lab uses knockout mice (IGF-R fl/fl, and IRS1 and IRS2 germ-line knockout) to decipher the importance of IGF signaling in initiation and progression of breast cancer. Basic studies are translated into preclinical work using anti-IGF-IR antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors in transgenic and xenograft models. Finally, the Lee lab is the central lab for all tissue biomarker studies in clinical trials of the anti-IGF-IR antibody Figitumumab (Pfizer).

Dr. Lee’s lab also studies the role of novel nanotechnology agents in the imaging and treatment of early breast cancer. This includes the use of ultrashort carbon nanotubes filled with gadolinium or iron oxide as both imaging (MRI, T1 and T2) and treatment (via thermal ablation using AMF). Recent studies use silicon nanoshells containing gold and iron oxide, and then with anti-IGF-IR antibodies, for targeted imaging (IF using gold and MRI using T2 iron oxide) and therapy (via thermal ablation). Finally, the Lee laboratory uses massively parallel sequencing to perform fundamental studies on the role of structural genomic rearrangements in breast cancer.

 Lee Research Group

Adrian Lee, PhD

Rekha Gyanchandani, PhD

Nolan Priedigkeit, PhD

Lyuqin Chen, PhD

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