Joanna L Groden, PhD
College of Medicine
Cancer Biology and Genetics
Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics
Cancer, Adenomatous Polyposis Coli, Bloom Syndrome, Colorectal Cancer, Colonic Cancer, Adenoma, Microsatellite Instability
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 familial adenomatous polyposis coli, and using the mouse as a model organism to learn more about how human cancers form and how we might diagnose and treat them. One aim of our laboratory is to understand the relationship between chromosome stability and neoplasia through study of the BLM helicase. BLM carries out very basic and important tasks within the cell, such as telomere elongation, resolution of stalled replication forks and responses to DNA damage. A second area of focus is to understand the genes that are altered in the development of colorectal cancer. Through study of the APC tumor suppressor and its functions in regulating the Wnt signaling pathway, we are investigating how downstream gene expression is regulated and how APC contributes to cell cycle regulation and apoptosis. Lastly, through the ability to manipulate the mouse genome, new mouse models of cancer are being developed and characterized in the laboratory. These model systems provide access to tumor material and are being used to test new ideas about the genes and their variants that affect susceptibility to cancer, as well as important environmental agents that affect tumor development.