Molecular Pathology Unit, Center for Cancer Research, and Center for Systems Biology
149 13th Street, 7.372
Charlestown, MA 02129
Lab Members: 5 postdoctoral fellows, 1 BBS graduate student, 1 visiting graduate student, 2 technicians
Visit my lab page here.
Activating Ras mutations are found in 90% of pancreatic, 40% of colorectal, and 30% of lung cancers. Cancers expressing mutant Ras are largely resistant to conventional chemotherapies, ionizing radiation, and also emerging targeted therapies. As a result, our research is strongly motivated by the great need for new therapies targeting Ras or Ras-related signaling pathways.
Our laboratory uses both conventional and systems biology approaches to integrate studies of genetically engineered mouse models, human cancer cell lines, and primary patient samples in the search for novel Ras therapies. We have recently developed mouse models of colorectal cancers expressing mutationally activated forms of K-Ras and N-Ras, the two Ras family members that are commonly mutated in human colorectal cancer. Using these mouse models and human cell lines, we have identified candidate drugs for Ras mutant colorectal cancers that are currently in clinical trials within the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center. Because pancreatic, lung, and rectal cancers are commonly treated with radiation therapy, we are also investigating the effects of Ras mutations on the response of cancer cells to ionizing radiation. Being situated within the MGH Cancer Center, our laboratory greatly benefits from the translational research opportunities available through our interactions with clinicians at the hospital.
Our lab also applies systems biology approaches in an effort to better understand genetically complex diseases. This work focuses on the development of computational models of dysregulated signaling networks in the context of chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract (i.e. inflammatory bowel diseases) and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia). As with our work on cancer, the translational impact of these studies is greatly enhanced by interactions with clinicians at the MGH.
Casie Genetti, Lab Manager
Jessica Gierut, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Angela Krebs, visiting graduate student
Ken Lau, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Laura Kleiman, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Max Juchheim, BBS graduate student
Sarah Philips, Technician
Sergia Velho, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Moon Hee Yang, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
For a complete listing of publications click here.
Last Update: 7/26/2012