Dr. Holzbeierlein Laboratory
Jeffrey Holzbeierlein, M.D., leads a research team at KU Medical Center dedicated to studying the causes of and latest treatments for prostate and bladder cancer.
Dr. Jeffrey Holzbeierlein and his laboratory receive support from an R01 focused on finding novel chemotherapeutic drugs for prostate and bladder cancer. Through collaboration with Dr. Brian Blagg and the Medicinal Chemistry Department at the University of Kansas, the program focuses on understanding and targeting the Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90) pathway. Hsp90 is a main functional component of an important cytoplasmic chaperone complex, and it is involved in various cellular processes, such as cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Numerous proteins represented in all six hallmarks of cancer are dependent upon Hsp90 for conformational maturation, which identifies Hsp90 as a promising target for the development of cancer chemotherapeutics. The major goal of Dr. Holzbeierlein's research team is to study the C-terminal Hsp90 inhibitors which could bind directly to Hsp90 and exhibit a robust antiproliferative and cytotoxic activity, along with client protein degradation and disruption of Hsp90 native complexes without induction of the heat shock response.
To date, Dr. Holzbeierlein's laboratory has screened more than 1,000 compounds, all of which have been created at the University of Kansas. Several promising compounds are currently moving forward in animal models with the ultimate goal of translating these into clinical trials in humans. This research has resulted in more than 20 peer-reviewed publications, two R01 grants and a DOD grant.