Graduate Student - Chen Lab
Bachelor of Medicine in Clinical Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Xi’an, China
I joined the Chen Lab in 2013 as a research assistant, and joined IGPBS in 2014 to pursue PhD degree in the Chen Lab. My research interest focuses on microRNA modulation of cancer cell sensitivity to anti-cancer agents. Pancreatic cancer is among the most lethal malignancies worldwide, and is highly resistant to current chemotherapy. Micro RNAs (miRs) are evolutionary conserved, non-coding RNA composed of about 22nt. They form RNA-induced silencing complexes that inhibit translation or cleave mature mRNA, thus play important roles in translation regulation of various genes. Post-transcriptional regulation is increasingly recognized as important regulatory of gene expression in physiological and diseases conditions. Our recent studies reveal that miRs may modulate pancreatic cancer cell death induced by the pro-oxidant agent of ascorbate (Vitamin C, ascorbic acid). High dose intravenous ascorbate has been recently proposed as a low-toxic anti-cancer agent against a variety of cancers including pancreatic cancer. However, the mechanism(s) remains unknown by which ascorbate induces preferential death in cancer cells versus normal cells. Utilizing high-throughput miRs screening techniques, a panel of specific miRs was identified that was differentially regulated upon ascorbate treatment in pancreatic cancer cells. Using orthotopic mouse pancreatic cancer models, along with a broad range of advanced biological techniques, I will test the hypothesis that microRNA plays an important role in drug induced cancer cell death or resistance. Specifically, we hypothesize that pharmacologic ascorbate inhibits pancreatic cancer epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cells (CSC) through miRNA regulated GSK-3/β-catenin signaling pathway, resulting in inhibition of pancreatic cancer growth, metastasis and gemcitabine resistance. My goal is to increase our understanding of microRNA involvement in cancer treatment, and to develop a novel therapeutic strategy for pancreatic cancer.
Dong R, Polireddy K, Chen Q, Drisko J, Chen P, Dong Y, Zhou H. A Novel Micro-RNA, miR-572, mediates the anti-tumor effect of ascorbate on pancreatic cancer. Society for Integrative Oncology 10th International Conference, Vancouver, Canada, Oct. 20 - 22, 2013. (Chosen for oral presentation)