Amanda E Toland, PhD
College of Medicine
Molecular Virology, Immunology & Medical Genetics
Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics
Breast Neoplasms, Ovarian Neoplasms, Skin Neoplasms, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Loss of Heterozygosity, Polychondritis, Relapsing, Polyomavirus Infections
Dr. Toland's lab is interested in identifying naturally occurring variations in genes that affect human cancer susceptibility in order to understand how tumors grow and develop, to identify new targets for cancer therapy and prevention, and to better define a person’s risk of getting cancer. An individual’s risk of developing cancer is due to environmental exposures and their unique combination of inherited genetic variations. As we all have inherited many variations that can increase or decrease our cancer risk by little amounts, we want to understand how different combinations of inherited variations work together to significantly influence cancer risk. Our lab studies three main types of cancer: cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), colorectal cancer, and hereditary breast cancer. We are currently looking for combinations of genetic variations that act with Aurora-A and PTPRJ, two cancer susceptibility genes identified as being involved in genetic interactions for skin and colorectal cancer respectively. In another project, we are identifying genetic risk factors for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in organ transplant recipients using allele specific somatic changes in tumors to map candidate loci. Finally, we have several projects to better characterize breast cancer risk in individuals with variants and deleterious mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2.