The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Departments of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Systems Biology
My laboratory studies the regulation and functional role of kinase signaling pathways in melanoma, which is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. We utilize a number of methods, including reverse phase protein arrays (RPPA), transcriptional profiling, and DNA sequencing, to allow for efficient and broad assessment of protein signaling networks. For clinical specimens, we use these and other methods to determine clinical and pathological correlates of different mutations and signaling pathway activation, including in patients treated with molecularly targeted therapies. In vitro, we use these methods to identify predictors of sensitivity and resistance to therapeutic agents. We also study the changes in protein and gene expression networks induced by different therapies to identify mechanisms of resistance, in order to develop rational, more effective combinatorial approaches. We also have a specific effort to understand the molecular biology of, and rational therapeutic approaches for, brain metastases.
Laboratory methods utilized during a rotation in my laboratory may include mammalian tissue culture, cytotoxicity screening, apoptosis and cell cycle analysis, biospecimen extraction (DNA, RNA, protein), protein analysis (Western blotting, RPPA), gene expression analysis (RT-PCR, whole genome arrays), small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfections/screens, and in vivo experiments in mice. Potential projects include the utilization of these and other methods to understand and overcome mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies, including combinatorial approaches.
Education & Training
M.D./Ph.D. - McGovern Medical School at UTHealth & MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School - 2001