Current Research Projects

Full Projects

Targeting CXCR2 as a Driver for Obesity-Derived Progression of Ovarian Cancer

Project Leads: 
Alicia Beeghly-Fadiel, PhD, MPH
Deok-Soo Son, DVM, PhD
Margaret Whalen, PhD

The project aims to target the CXCR2-mediated signaling pathway as a driver for obesity-derived progression of ovarian cancer; and to examine the interplay between proinflammatory chemokines, obesity, tumor characteristics, and patient survival.

Specific Targets:
1) cellular and animal studies for CXCR2-Ab and PRIMA-1Met; and
2) continue chemokine assays and p53 mutation status on ovarian cancer samples.


Metabolic Profiling of Prostate Cancer Risk among African Americans

Project Leads: 
Quiyin Cai, MD, PhD
Maureen Sanderson, PhD
Xiaofei Wang, PhD

Specific Aims:

1) To conduct a nested case-control study of prostate cancer among 225 incident cases and 450 matched controls who donated a blood sample at baseline. They will measure the plasma metabolome to identify the metabolite profiles/metabolites associated with prostate cancer risk.
2) To compare the metabolite profiles/metabolites of AAs and EAs and evaluate the
associations of metabolite profiles/metabolites with major risk factors, such as BMI,
smoking, physical activity, and diabetes among the 450 controls from Aim 1.


Combinatorial Role of Prostratin with Immune-Checkpoint Inhibitors in Breast Cancer Therapy

Project Leads:
Jeffery Rathmell, PhD
Venkataswarup Tiriveedhi, MD, PhD

Specific Aim:

1) Identify interindividual Notch-based immunogenetic parameters in human peripheral
blood and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes of ethnic minorities.
2) Investigate how lymphocyte expression pattern of Notch signaling components link to antitumor immune response and patient survival.

The outcomes of this project will help uncover the molecular determinant(s) of host immunity responsible for AA disparity.


Pilot Project

Notch as an Immunologic Basis of Cancer Disparity

Project Leads:
Pierre Massion, MD
Anil Shanker, PhD

We hypothesized that racial differences in Notch-based immunogenetic parameters would affect lymphocyte repertoire, antitumor immunosurveillance and therapeutic outcomes. We thus developed two specific aims:
1) Identify interindividual Notch-based immunogenetic parameters in human peripheral blood and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes of ethnic minorities.
2) Investigate how lymphocyte expression pattern of Notch signaling components link to antitumor immunity.