Credentials: Medicine Department
Position title: Mechanisms of cell death in disease
Phone: (608) 262-4786
4144 Uw Med Fndtn Centennial Bldg
1685 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705
Cancer Biology; Cellular & Molecular Metabolism
My laboratory focuses on understanding how tumors adapt to and survive metabolic stress caused by their rapid growth. Our group is widely recognized for identifying the molecular chaperone αB-crystallin as a novel anti-apoptotic protein that inhibits caspase-3 activation and for linking αB-crystallin to triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). We have also developed unique mouse models of metastatic TNBC and demonstrated that αB-crystallin plays a key role in brain metastasis, a devastating complication with few treatment options. Much of our current work focuses on delineating the molecular mechanism by which αB-crystallin promotes metastasis. More recently, we have developed a novel therapeutic paradigm to metabolically prime TNBC to proapoptotic therapy using dietary methionine restriction (MR). My lab demonstrated that dietary MR enhances the antitumor activity of proapoptotic TRAIL receptor agonists by increasing the cell surface expression of TRAIL receptor-2 in TNBC. These preclinical findings were published and highlighted in Clinical Cancer Research and have led to funding for two clinical trials in patients with TNBC. We are currently studying how MR engages the integrated stress response and modifies the epigenome to mediate its antitumor effects.