Courtney Andersen studies the role of estrogen receptor-alpha in ovarian cancer.
Chris Barnes investigates the structural details by which transcription factor activity regulates RNA Polymerase II during the universal process of eukaryotic gene expression.
Soma Jobaggy studies nitrated fatty acid pharmacology and the antioxidant response in hypertensive end-organ damage.
Allison Nagle studies growth factor receptor signaling in breast cancer.
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.

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

Daniel Altschuler - G-protein signaling mechanisms in mitogenesis and oncogenesis
Christopher Bakkenist - DNA damage signaling
Robert Binder - Tumor immunology; Heat Shock Protein Immunobiology; Tumor immunosurveillance; biology of scavenger receptors in antigen crosspresentation; immune responses initiated by endogenous molecules.
Timothy Burns - Targeted therapies for lung cancer; KRAS mutant lung cancer; Hsp90 inhibitors;EMT transcription factors
Ferruccio Galbiati - Signal transduction mechanisms in muscular dystrophy and ageing/cancer.
Yu Jiang - Signaling mechanisms for cell growth control; Regulation of protein kinases and phosphatases
Seungwon Kim - Advanced skin cancer, oral cancer, thyroid cancer and targeted therapy for head and neck cancer.
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.
Thomas Smithgall - Protein-tyrosine kinase structure, function, and drug discovery in cancer and infectious diseases.
Richard Steinman - Molecular controls of normal hematopoiesis and leukemogenisis; coupling of cell cycle and differentation control. Investigation of p-53 like molecules and cell cycle regulation in leukemogenesis and in stem cells.
Qiming Jane Wang - Targeting protein kinase D by small molecular inhibitors for cancer therapy; signaling mechanisms of protein kinase D in cancer.
Zhou Wang - Mechanism of androgen receptor intracellular trafficking in prostate cancer cells. Roles of androgen-response genes in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Lin Zhang - Genetic basis of differential responses to anticancer drugs and mechanisms of drug-induced apoptosis.

Program Achievements

Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program Ranked #2 in National Research Council Rankings


Time to dissertation Defense
, last five graduating classes:  4.6 years, Completion Rate: 86.49%

First Author Publications (All students, past 5 year mean):  2.03;   Total Publications: 5.10

F-series Grants (F30/F31) (All Students, past 5 year mean):  12/34 (35%) 

Ranked #9 in National of Institute of Health funding of departments of Pharmacology

Ranked in the top 15 in funding for twenty-four consecutive years

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