Location and Contact Information
Gloria Su, PhD, and her laboratory study the molecular genetics of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, as well as mouse modeling for both cancer types. HNSCC and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma are both results of accumulated genetic alterations. Both cancer types share some common oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes (e.g., p16 and p53), but each has its unique targeted mutations (e.g., Cyclin D1 for HNSCC and K-ras for pancreatic cancer). We continue to compare the molecular genetic profiles of these two cancer types using both a broad genome-scanning and candidate-gene approaches. By establishing the cancer genetic profiles, we hope to reveal new prognostic markers, discover a tumor marker for early detection analysis, and develop chemopreventive treatments that target tumor-specific pathways.
Dr. Su’s laboratory has developed multiple genetically engineered mouse models that recapitulate human pancreatic cancer at both genetic and histologic levels. Dr. Su’s team interrogates the biology of tumor development, progression, and metastasis using these genetically engineered mouse models. Notably, her team has reported that the loss of the wild-type KRAS is associated with pancreatic cancer metastasis in mice and humans. They have also demonstrated that the inactivation of different tumor-suppressor genes following KRAS activation may influence the dichotomy of PanIN and IPMN (pancreatic precancerous lesions) development and progression. Specifically, the inactivation of the activin signaling preferentially promotes the development of IPMN. In addition to mouse modeling, Dr. Su and her team have contributed to our understanding of the cancer genetics of human IPMN and recently shown that the dysregulation of the PI3K-PTEN signaling pathway is associated with poor prognosis among IPMN patients.
- Wanglong Qiu, MD, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
- Chunhua Xie, MD
- Yeran Yang, PhD
- Michael Chun, BA