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Our research faculty have reputations for national and international excellence, publishing widely cited basic science research and leading the way in translational research and precision medicine. The significance and diversity of research activities underway contributes to the vitality of our department. We invite you to explore our laboratory websites for more detailed information about efforts and accomplishments within our department.
Behbod Laboratory—PI: Fariba Behbod, PharmD, Ph.D.
The goal of the lab's research is to study the role of cancer stem cells in invasive progression of human ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). This looks at the central hypothesis that cancer stem cells and their niche microenvironment may mediate the transition from DCIS to invasive breast cancer.
Cheng Laboratory—PI: Nikki Cheng, Ph.D.
The Cheng Lab investigates the role of inflammation and chemokine signaling in breast cancer progression and metabolism.
Patrick Fields Laboratory—PI: Patrick E. Fields, PhD
Research Focus: Immunobiology of T cell differentiation and Early hematopoiesis
Timothy Fields Laboratory—PI: Timothy A. Fields, M.D., Ph.D.
Work within the Fields Laboratory is focused on understanding the Wnt signaling pathways and their role in guiding differentiation and tumorigenesis. The Wnts are a family of extracellular signaling proteins that are critical for appropriate development, as they regulate behavior and cell fate decisions of stem cells and other progenitor cells. In addition, Wnt signaling can influence cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and morphology in both adult and progenitor cells. Thus, it is not surprising that aberrant Wnt signaling can lead not only to morphogenetic defects in developing animals, but also to the development of proliferative diseases, including cancer.
Godwin Laboratory—PI: Andrew K. Godwin, Ph.D.
Godwin is internationally recognized for his molecular biology/genetic studies of sarcoma (e.g., GIST and Ewing Sarcoma), breast and ovarian cancer, and his efforts to help bridge the gap between basic and clinical science to improve patient care. He is a leader in the field of precision medicine, and his research programs continue to focus on various aspects of both basic and translational research, with an emphasis on early detection of cancer, predictive and prognostic biomarkers, liquid biopsies based on extracellular vesicles, molecular therapeutics, companion diagnostics, clinical trials, cellular therapeutics, cancer immune microenvironment and biosample ascertainment.
Jensen Laboratory—PI: Roy A. Jensen, M.D.
Work within the Jensen Laboratory supports the hypothesis that an increase in BRCA1 can provide protection against tumors. One project developed a stable human breast cancer cell line containing integrated copies of a BRCA1 promoter-driven luciferase reporter plasmid and screened over 100,000 compounds for their ability to increase BRCA1 expression. Another project aims to identify cellular components as regulators of BRCA1 expression and function.
Nicot Laboratory—PI: Christophe P. Nicot, Ph.D.
Research within the Nicot Laboratory centers on the HTLV-1 transactivator protein tax, the HTLV-1 regulator protein p2oII, and the transformational process by HTLV-1.
Paul Laboratory—PI: Soumen Paul, Ph.D.
Paul Laboratory's research is focused on understanding molecular mechanisms that regulate cell type-specific gene expression during mammalian development. Although cells of a multicellular organism are genetically homogenous, due to differential gene expression pattern they are different structurally and functionally.
Rumi Laboratory—PI: M. A. Karim Rumi, MBBS, Ph.D.
The Rumi Laboratory is interested in the regulation of cell differentiation, especially as related to trophoblast stem cells, and signaling pathways controlling their developmental fate. Other interests include species-specific reproductive adaptations to physiological stressors and signaling events involved in the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy.
Soares Laboratory—PI: Michael J. Soares, Ph.D.
The Soares Laboratory investigates specialized survival strategies used by the embryo as it grows within the mother's womb. Within the lab, we study how early stem cells develop into the placenta and how the placenta is built in response to cues present in the maternal environment.
Zheng Laboratory—PI: Long Zheng, M.D., Ph.D.
The Zheng laboratory studies the mechanisms of normal and abnormal blood coagulation, inflammation, and vascular biology, especially the pathogenesis of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a potentially fatal syndrome.