Molecular Pathology of Carcinogenesis
Ralph B. Arlinghaus, Ph.D.: Professor and chairman of the Department of Molecular Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. RNA tumor viruses (retroviruses), the v-Mos oncoprotein, and the role of Bcr in Bcr-Abl positive human leukemia.
Jiale Dai, Ph.D: Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Molecular genetics and biology of breast cancer.
Richard J. Ford, M.D., Ph.D.: Professor, Chief; Section of Pathobiology, Department of Molecular Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Cell growth control in normal and neoplastic human B lymphocytes.
Peng Huang, M.D., Ph.D.: Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Biochemical and molecular mechanisms of action of anticancer agents.
M. Tien Kuo, Ph.D.: Felix L. Haas Professor in Basic Science Department of Molecular Pathology
Chief, Section of Eukaryotic Cell Research, Department of Molecular Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Evolution of drug resistance and tumor development; Targeted prodrug therapy of liver cancers; Genomic instability and evolution of drug resistance
Sue-Hwa Lin, Ph.D.: Professor, Department of Molecular Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Prostate cancer bone metastasis; Roles of CEACAM1 cell adhesion molecule in prostate cancer; Roles of anti-angiogenic protein 16-kDa prolactin in prostate cancer.
Sendurai A. Mani, Ph.D.: Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Biology of cancer metastasis, specifically the role of epithelia to mesenchymal transitions (EMT's) and the role of number of these EMT inducing transcription factors during cancer progression and stem cell generation.
Timothy J. McDonnell, M.D., Ph.D.: Professor, Department of Haematopathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Molecular oncology; Molecular determinants of therapeutic response.
Subrata Sen, Ph.D.: Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Genetic regulation of mitosis and chromosomal instability in cancer,development of early genetic biomarkers of cancer.
Most of the Molecular Pathology faculty involved in the study of carcinogenesis are associated with the Department of Molecular Pathology at M. D. Anderson. The primary focus of the Department of Molecular Pathology at M. D. Anderson is research on the genes and gene products involved in the abnormal growth of tumor cells, and the mechanisms by which these abnormal gene products induce cancer. The long-term goal of these studies is to develop new diagnostic reagents and new therapeutic strategies for cancer. The research activities of the department include several areas of investigations that relate to these themes.
One area concerns gene products of proto-oncogenes involved in either malignant tumor formation or leukemia. These particular gene products have been found to possess an important regulatory enzyme activity (for example, a protein kinase) that modulates signal transduction in different cellular pathways.
A second area of research concerns the study of a new class of genes involved in prolonging the survival of non-growing cells by blocking programmed cell death, or apoptosis. This prolonged survival is believed to enable cells to undergo further genetic mutations that eventually lead to a malignant state.
A third area concerns the role of cell-adhesion proteins involved in cell-to-cell interaction, with particular emphasis on prostate and breast cancers. A recent faculty addition to the department provides expertise in the study of Proteomics. Following advances in sequencing the human genome (DNA), the next challenge is to probe the structure and function of the proteins encoded by the genome, hence the term "Proteomics."
Other areas of research include:
Genes involved in drug resistance
Novel and ultrasensitive methods for detecting, separating and quantitating malignant cells in normal cell populations in tissue and body fluids
Factors required for progression of B-cell lymphoma
A newly discovered protein kinase that regulates events in mitosis in breast cancer and other cancers
Genes involved in reactive oxygen as they relate to cancer
Genes associated with day/night changes (the circadian clock) in gene expression as they relate to cancer and signal transduction pathways involved in cell adhesion changes in cancer cells
HIV vaccines and HIV therapy
Retrovirus-mediated gene therapy for treating cancer
Gene therapy for liver disease
Research activities are supported in large part by peer-reviewed grants awarded to our faculty. These include grants from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and the Department of Defense. Other support is provided by industrial firms through licensing arrangements on either issued patents or pending patents. Gift funds provide additional research support to various investigators in the department.
The department has a core facility laboratory that provides synthetic peptide reagents and other protein/peptide-related services for faculty and staff researchers and/or clinicians. Synthetic peptides are used primarily to produce antibodies as probes for basic and clinical research. In addition, synthetic peptides are used as ligands to mimic various ligands, growth factors and cytokines for protein interaction studies.