Leadership & Members

Research Molecular Biology Cancer Genetics

Molecular Biology & Cancer Genetics Members

Meet the leaders and members of the Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics research program at the OSUCCC – James who promote improved screening, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

Leadership & Members

Albert de la Chapelle, MD, PhD

Research in Dr. de la Chapelle’s laboratory focuses on the mapping, cloning, and characterization of high-penetrance genes for cancer predisposition. Similar studies into low-penetrance genes, a relatively new concept, are also done.

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Amanda Simcox, PhD

Dr. Simcox studies EGF receptor signaling in the early wing disc. This simple system is about 30 cells in a just hatched larva and grows to about 150 cells in two days.

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Amanda Toland, PhD

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.

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Ashish Kumar, MD, PhD

Dr. Kumar's research studies the biology of infant-leukemia to identify novel therapeutic approaches to treat this disease. Infants with leukemia face an exceptionally grim prognosis because the pathogenesis of the disease is different than that seen in older children.

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Bruce Aronow, PhD

Dr. Aronow's research efforts are directed to the goal of bringing complete knowledge of gene functions and gene activity to the analysis disease mechanisms.  To do this he works with investigators in many different areas of research to use technologies that measure gene activity and gene

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Christin Burd, PhD

The INK4/ARF locus encodes three tumor suppressor genes frequently lost or silenced in human cancers (p15INK4b, p16INK4a, and p14ARF). Dr. Burd's lab aims to faithfully recapitulate the genetics of these tumors through the development of genetically engineered mouse models.

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Christina Wu, MD

Dr. Wu’s research involves both translational and clinical studies. She is the co-principal investigator of a phase I clinical trial of trametinib, a MEK inhibitor, in combination with neoadjuvant chemoradiation in rectal cancers that have either KRAS, NRAS, or BRAF mutation, and the principal.

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Colleen Cebulla, MD, PhD

In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Cebulla is actively engaged in both basic and clinical. The focus of Dr. Cebulla's lab is translational research on retinal detachments and uveal melanoma.

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Daniel Schoenberg, PhD

The Schoenberg lab is nationally recognized for discoveries in fundamental mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene regulation and the application of this knowledge to signal transduction, cancer and inherited diseases. The four projects currently under study look at the molecular mechanisms of.

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David Symer, MD, PhD

Dr. Symer studies mammalian retrotransposons, their epigenetic controls, and resulting functional variation. His research aims to understand some of the causes and consequences of changing epigenetic states upon the transposons, the genes and transcripts they affect, and genomic instability, with.

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Dawn Chandler, PhD

Our lab is interested in the regulation of pre-mRNA splicing and how disruption of this regulation can lead to pediatric diseases such as cancer. Current work in our lab elucidates alternative splicing as a novel mechanism by which cellular injury can control the activity of p53 and how changes.

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Erich Grotewold, PhD

Dr. Grotewold's research focuses on the control of gene expression and architecture of regulatory networks, using transcription factors as tools for plant metabolic engineering, sub-cellular trafficking of phytochemicals and other small molecules.

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Fen Xia, MD, PhD

Research in the Xia laboratory focuses on elucidating the mechanisms that regulate the repair of chromosomal double-strand breaks (DSB) that arise during physiological DNA metabolism and after radiation therapy or chemotherapy. We aim to understand 1) the impact of deregulated DSB repair on.

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Gang Huang, PhD

Research in Dr. Huang’s laboratory focuses on genetic and epigenetic regulations of blood cell normal development and leukemia. We first demonstrated that AML1/CBFß (a hetero-dimer transcription factor) and Mixed-Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein (an enzyme which methylates lysine 4 of histone H3.

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Gustavo Leone, PhD

Dr. Leone’s laboratory studies the role of the Ras pathway in coordinating cell growth and cell death signals elicited by the E2F and Myc transcription programs.

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Hakan Cam, PhD

Cancer is a genetic disorder caused by mutations in genes critically involved in the control of cell proliferation. Long-lived organisms, such as humans, have evolved strategies to restrict the development of potentially malignant cells.

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Harold Fisk, PhD

Centrosomes are microtubule-organizing structures that coordinate mitotic spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. Centrosome aberrations are found in a variety of tumors, and are associated with tumorigenesis in breast cancer, prostate cancer, and leukemia.

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Heather Hampel, MS, CGC

Ms. Hampel's research interests include screening all colorectal and endometrial cancer patients for Lynch syndrome, the American Founder Mutation (exon 1-6 deletion in MSH2) as a cause of Lynch syndrome, and the etiology of MSI-negative familial colorectal cancers.

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Chang-hyuk Kwon, PhD

Dr. Kwon's laboratory is studying glioblastoma, the most aggressive and common brain malignancy with poor prognosis. By using Nf1, Trp53 and Pten conditional deletion in the brain, we have generated physiologically relevant mouse genetic models of this devastating disease.

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Ioanna Papandreou, PhD

The dysfunctional tumor vasculature and the deregulated cancer cell proliferation create areas of oxygen- and nutrient- deprivation in solid tumors. Cells within the tumor respond to these microenvironmental stresses by activating adaptive mechanisms that allow malignant progression under such.

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Jeffrey Parvin, MD, PhD

Dr. Parvin's research involves the biological processes involved in breast cancer. His lab focuses on pathways regulated by the BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor suppressor proteins, and these include the repair of DNA damage, control of transcription, control of cell cycle progression, and centrosome.

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Jennifer Leight, PhD

The focus of research in the Leight lab is to utilize cutting edge biomaterials techniques to precisely vary the spatial and temporal presentation of 3D extracellular cues as well as develop new sensors to measure activity of specific members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family. Using.

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Joanna Groden, PhD

The Groden Laboratory has three primary areas of interest: the study of Bloom's syndrome, an inherited disorder that decreases chromosome stability and increases susceptibility to all types of cancer, the study of inherited disorders that increase susceptibility to colorectal cancer, especially

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John Phay, MD

Dr. Phay has two main research projects. The first is examining a novel AMPK activator for the treatment of thyroid cancer.

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John Barnard, MD

Dr. Barnard is a nationally recognized expert in the biology of transforming growth factor beta the gastrointestinal epithelium and pediatric gastrointestinal polyp disorders.

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John Gunn, PhD

My laboratory performs research pertaining to microbial resistance to innate Immunity. Much of our research is focused on the macrophage, as well as the mucosal surface.

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Jonathan Song, PhD

Dr. Song uses microscale engineering technology to reconstitute the microarchitecture of living tissue in vitro to systematically investigate how certain components of tumor microenvironment regulate angiogenesis. One of his research interests is understanding how the determinants of tumor blood.

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Jose Otero, MD, PhD

Dr. Otero's research interests include induced pluripotent stem cells, neural stem cells, cell cycle control of stem cells, and molecular diagnostics.

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Jun Liu, PhD

Dr. Liu collaborates with clinicians and medical researchers in pursuing a better understanding of biomechanics in ocular pathophysiology, particularly those related to glaucoma and keratoconus. Her lab applies quantitative ultrasound techniques to non-invasively characterize ocular biomechanics.

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Kamal Pohar, MD

Dr. Pohar’s research interest include: Bladder cancer, Testicular cancer, Genetic and epigenetic changes contributing to progression of bladder cancer, and Developing clinical and biologic databases in bladder cancer.

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Katsumi Kitagawa, PhD

Dr. Kitagawa's research involves the role that the spindle checkpoint plays in tumor development. Mutations in genes required for kinetochore function and mitotic checkpoint surveillance possibly contribute development of cancer.

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F. Kay Huebner, PhD

The major focus of the laboratory is to thoroughly investigate and define the biological functions of the tumor suppressor proteins, Fhit and Wwox, encoded by the chromosome fragile sites FRA3B and FRA16D, two of the most frequently inactivated tumor suppressors in a broad spectrum of human

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Krystian Jazdzewski, MD, PhD

The evolving awareness of microRNAs (miRs) and other non-coding RNA genes was beginning to hint that miRs might be responsible for some of the strong genetic predisposition displayed by thyroid cancer. Dr. Jazdzewski performed genetic association studies that clearly suggested such a role for.

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Lawrence Kirschner, MD, PhD

Dr. Kirschner's research is focused on endocrine tumor genetics, with specific interest in understanding how dysregulation of PKA contributes to tumorigenesis in cAMP-responsive tissues. Using a combination of in vivo mouse models and in vitro tissue culture work, his lab aims to understand how.

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Lei Cao, PhD

Dr. Cao’s lab has characterized a novel brain-fat axis (hypothalamic-sympathoneural-adipocyte axis) underlying the anti-obesity and anticancer phenotypes associated with a complex environment using multidisciplinary approaches to further define this neuroendocrine axis, identify molecular

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Li Wu, PhD

Dr. Wu's lab aims to better understand the mechanisms of epigenetic silencing of SAMHD1 in CTCL to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Our recent findings suggest that epigenetic silencing of SAMHD1 in malignant CD4+ T-cells contributes to uncontrolled T-cell growth in CTCL.

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Lionel Chow, MD, PhD

Dr. Chow's research interests have been centered on glioblastoma multiforme, a particularly devastating form of cancer in adults and children. His work has resulted in the development of a number of novel and robust laboratory models for this disease.

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Matthew Ringel, MD

Dr. Ringel's research interests include molecular mechanisms involved in thyroid cancer invasion and metastasis; with an active interest in new drug testing for thyroid cancer therapy.

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Metin Gurcan, PhD

Dr. Gurcan's research interests include image analysis and understanding, computer vision with applications to medicine. Over the last decade, his research contributions have concentrated on computer-aided detection and diagnosis (CAD) of cancer.

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Michael Ostrowski, PhD

Dr. Ostrowski's lab has a long-standing interest in understanding how signaling pathways elicit selective changes in gene transcription in mammalian cells. One project is centered on the ras/Erk/ets signaling pathway in cancer cells (abnormal signaling project) and one on the rac/p38 MAP.

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Michael Freitas, PhD

Dr. Freitas' lab has developed extensive expertise in the field of clinical/translational proteomics, biomarker discovery/validation and bioinformatics for mass spectrometry based proteomics. Their work focuses on the determination of side chain modifications of proteins important in Chromatin.

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Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, MD, PhD

Dr. Abdel-Rahman's research interests include uveal melanomas, ocular genetics, clinical cancer genetics and ocular pathology.

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Nancy Ratner, PhD

The long term interest of the Ratner laboratory is to define the interactions between glial cells and axons during nervous system development and how those interactions go awry in disease, with the goal of providing novel therapies to patients with nervous system diseases. Neurofibromatosis type.

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Nicanor Moldovan, PhD

a) Detection of circulating endothelial and other progenitor cells in human blood, using an original solid phase assay (called CellTrap, in development). This project is funded through an ARRA/RC2/GO stimulus grant from NIH.

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Nicholas Denko, MD, PhD

Dr. Denko’s research is in the study of physiology that is unique to the solid tumor. This includes gene expression changes due to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) and nutrient stress, and the resultant changes in tumor metabolism and response to conventional therapies.

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Nilay Shah, MD

The primary interest of Dr. Shah’s lab is the set of aberrations that lead to embryonic cancers, i. e.

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Paul Herman, PhD

Dr. Herman's lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms Herman Lab Memberscontrolling eukaryotic cell growth and proliferation. The primary focus has been on the G0-like resting states that cells enter when conditions are not conducive to continued growth.

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Paul Goodfellow, PhD

Dr. Goodfellow’s research focuses on understanding the role that loss of DNA mismatch repair plays in tumor initiation and progression and understanding key molecular events that can be used to develop novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of endometrial cancers.

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Qinghua Sun, MD, PhD

Dr. Sun's lab investigates the impacts of ambient air pollution and ambient temperature changes on human health and disease development, especially cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The lab utilizes “Versatile Aerosol Concentrator and Enrichment System” to mimic “real world” fine particulate.

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Jian-Qiu Wu, PhD

The goal of Dr. Wu's laboratory is to understand the roles of cytoskeletal and signaling proteins in cellular asymmetry and cell division in normal and cancer cells. We are focusing on the molecular mechanisms of cytokinesis in the fission yeast S.

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Ramesh Ganju, PhD

The major focus of Dr. Ganju's lab is to determine the role of chemokines, especially CXCL12, and various inflammatory molecules, such as S100A7, and anti-inflammatory molecules, such as Slit2 and cannabinoids, in pathogenesis of various diseases.

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Richard Fishel, PhD

Dr. Fishel's research is focused on DNA repair and its connection to clinical problems such as infertility and cancer development.

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Robin Wharton, PhD

We study post-transcriptional gene regulation during development in the germ line of the model system Drosophila melanogaster. Two proteins-- Nanos and Pumilio-- collaborate to repress translation of CyclinB mRNA in the primordial germ cells, thereby blocking proliferation.

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Ruoning Wang, PhD

The fundamental interest of Dr. Wang's labe is to understand how eukaryotic cell integrates various extracellular and intrinsic signals/cues to dictate cellular fate (cell proliferation, death, growth and differentiation). In particular, we focus on understanding the impact of the interplay.

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Sissy Jhiang, PhD

Dr Jhiang current research interests are: (a) examine RET/PTC mediated signaling pathways in thyroid tumorigenesis and apply the finding to improve patients' care; (b) Investigate regulatory mechanisms of Na+/I- symporter(NIS) in thyroid cancer and breast cancer and apply the finding to develop

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Sung Yoon, PhD

The long-term goal of Dr. Yoon's lab is to understand how the balance between cell survival and death is maintained in the adult nervous system. Currently, they are focusing on the role of stress kinase, JNK signaling, under pathological conditions.

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Susan Cole, PhD

The Notch signaling pathway plays key roles in human development and disease. Disregulation of Notch signaling is frequently seen in human cancers, for instance, activating Notch mutations are seen in over 50% of juvenille T-ALL cases.

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Takeshi Kurita, PhD

Dr. Kurita's research interest lies in the molecular mechanisms of development and carcinogenesis of the reproductive organs. His lab mainly uses genetically engineered mouse models to investigate these research subjects.

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Terence Williams, MD, PhD

Dr. Wiliams' laboratory research interests center around gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies, including pancreatic cancer. they are interested in the molecular biology and genetics of DNA damage response, and those pathways which dictate tumor aggressiveness such as invasion and metastasis, and.

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Thomas Ludwig, PhD

Dr. Ludwig's research focuses on biological function(s) of BRCA1 and BRCA2 and some of their interacting partners in normal and malignant development.

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Thomas Schmittgen, PhD

Dr. Schmittgen's research interests are Quantitative gene expression analysis and the role of small, noncoding (i. e.

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Tsonwin Hai, PhD

Maladaptation of cells to various signals plays important roles in the pathogenesis of many diseases. The current focus of my laboratory is to study the maladaptive processes in the development of breast cancer, melanoma, and diabetes.

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Vincenzo Coppola, MD

Dr. Coppola’s expertise is to generate genetically modified mouse models to mimic human diseases and study gene functions in vivo. He is also interested in clarifying the role of neurotrophins (NTs) and their receptors (Trks) in vivo using specific mouse models.

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Weiqiang Zhao, MD, PhD

Dr. Zhao's research interest include investigating and validating biomarkers in molecular pathogenesis, diagnosis, and target intervention in cancer and leukemia. One of his projects is to study the role of isoform 6 of IKZF1 gene in leukemia or lymphoma progression which has been shown to be.

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Nam Yong Lee, PhD

Dr. Lee's research focuses on how transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) signaling regulates vascular functions during tumor development and metastasis. Dr. Lee's lab is particularly interested in understanding the role of two endothelial-specific TGF beta receptors, endoglin and ALK1, which.

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Yuri Pekarsky, PhD

Mature T-cell leukemia commonly shows chromosomal rearrangements at 14q32. 1 including translocations t(14;14)(q11;q32), t(7;14)(q35;q32) and inversions inv(14)(q11;q32).

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Zucai Suo, PhD

The three major research projects in the Suo laboratory are: 1) using pre-steady state kinetic techniques (rapid chemical quench flow and stopped flow) and single molecule methods to elucidate kinetic mechanisms for DNA polymerases, kinases, and proteases; 2) develop small molecules to inhibit

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