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Kendra Carmon

Kendra Carmon

Regular Member

Associate Professor


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Institute of Molecular Medicine - Center for Translational Cancer Research

We are focused on identifying new targets for therapeutic development and investigating their function and signaling mechanisms in cancer. One of the targets our lab is studying is Leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled Receptor 5 (LGR5) which is highly expressed in colorectal cancer and cancer stem cells (CSCs). LGR5-positive CSCs are capable of driving tumor growth and metastasis. However, the actual function and mechanism of LGR5 in cancer and CSCs is still relatively unknown. Interestingly we found loss of LGR5 enhanced resistance to chemotherapies and increased expression of adhesion GPCR, GPR56. Our laboratory is currently working to elucidate the role of LGR5 and GPR56 in the control of tumor growth, metastasis, and drug resistance using colorectal cancer cell lines and patient-derived tumor models. Furthermore, we are developing innovative therapeutics called antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) that target and destroy tumors and CSCs, similar to guided missiles. ADCs are comprised of a highly specific monoclonal antibody attached to a cytotoxic chemical “warhead” that is only released once the ADC binds and enters target tumor cells. We generated LGR5- and GPR56-targeted ADCs and showed they could eliminate colorectal cancer cells and suppress tumor growth in preclinical models. Currently, we are taking novel approaches to modify and improve these ADCs in order to more effectively treat different types of cancer. Our lab is also characterizing new cancer targets involved in EGFR and other signaling pathways for future generation of innovative therapeutics including ADCs and bispecific antibodies and identifying unique combination therapies. 

A tutorial in my laboratory would involve (1) studying the signaling mechanisms that drive tumor growth and drug resistance and/or (2) evaluating novel therapeutics or combination therapies. Techniques used include cell culture, cloning, antibody production and purification, antibody-drug conjugation, bispecific antibody engineering, western blot, cell-based binding and reporter assays, immunocytochemistry, gene expression knockdown/knockout, cancer cell line and patient-derived xenograft models.


McGovern Medical School Faculty

Education & Training

PhD, MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School, 2008