Christin Burd Lab
Areas of Interest
Melanoma incidence continues to climb in the United States with over 76,000 new cases diagnosed each year. While early stage melanomas are frequently cured by surgical excision, the treatment of metastatic tumors remains a major challenge for oncologists. Our laboratory uses patient samples, cell culture and mouse models to better understand genetic and environmental factors that play a role in melanoma initiation, progression and therapeutic response. Ongoing studies focus on developing improved methods to prevent, treat and diagnose melanoma.
Connecting Cancer and Aging
The likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer increases dramatically with age. Many physiological changes associated with aging may contribute to this observation (e.g. cumulative cellular damage, immunological declines), however, the exact processes linking these two conditions are unknown. As the average age of cancer diagnosis continues to increase and treatments become more efficacious, we need a better means of predicting long-term drug toxicities and patient outcomes. In collaboration with The Ohio State University oncologists, we are working to define the relationship between cancer and aging. We aim to develop quantitative blood tests to determine how well a patient will tolerate and respond to a particular therapy as well as how cancer drugs will impact their long-term health and well-being. Laboratory investigations are used to probe molecular pathways associated with age-related physiological declines and adverse patient outcomes. With increased knowledge in these areas, we hope to improve the healthy lifespan of cancer patients and survivors.
Tirzah Weiss – Research Assistant
Namrata Arya – Clinical Research Assistant
Brandon Murphy – Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student
Renan Aguilar-Valenzuela – Postdoctoral Fellow
Emma Crawford – OSU Undergraduate
Michael Bodnar – OSU Undergraduate
Serena Brough – OSU Undergraduate