General Research InterestOur laboratory is interested in understanding how inflammation and angiogenesis contribute to non-melanoma skin cancer.
Research DescriptionCurrently, we are studying the involvement of the pro-angiogenic growth factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in skin carcinogenesis. VEGF is known to contribute to skin carcinogenesis by enhancing angiogenesis, but we believe that VEGF may also bind receptors in normal epithelial cells and tumor cells in the skin. We have found that VEGFR-1 (VEGF receptor-1) is expressed by normal epidermal keratinocytes and tumor cells from non-melanoma skin cancers. Studies are underway to determine whether VEGF can directly influence these cells by signaling through VEGFR-1, and the potential importance of epithelial VEGFR-1 signaling for the growth and development of skin tumors.