Main Office: DPRI 2.208
Alternate Office: PHR 5.224A
My lab has had a long-standing interest in JNKs (c-Jun N-terminal Kinases), kinases traditionally characterized as a pro-apoptotic enzyme and necessary for many therapeutic drugs to induce cell death. Recent studies have demonstrated that JNKs can also be activated by growth factors to enhance cell migration and survival. Because of these opposing properties, jnk1 and jnk2 knockout mice have been instrumental in addressing if these properties may be isoform specific. Studies thus far have shown that jnk1 and jnk2 gene products convey diverse functions in various diseases such as diabetes, leukemia and skin cancer research. We are currently evaluating jnk1 and jnk2 function in normal mammary gland development and in mammary tumorigenesis/metastases and response to chemotherapy treatment. We use a wide variety of techniques to evaluate mammary tumor cell biology and mammary gland function. Common methods include transgenic and knockout mouse models and cell lines, organotypic (3D) cell culture, flow cytometry, protein analysis, fluorescent microscopy, gene transfection and gene knockdown approaches to determine the functions of various signaling molecules. These techniques are used to evaluate phenotypes including progenitor/stem cell differentiation, tumorigenesis, metastasis, cellular migration, cancer cell invasion, proliferation, and death.