Alumni, PhD Student,
- Committee on Cancer Biology
Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology
The University of Chicago
KCBD Room 10240D
900 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL, 60637
Phone: (847) 477-3100
Cells are continually receiving information about their environment and their health, and in order to survive they must make appropriate responses to this information. This information is gathered and processed using signaling networks, and this information is integrated to make decisions. Though many of the individual proteins in these networks are well-characterized, it is unknown how the cell integrates diverse information to make appropriate decisions.
Cancer is driven by rewiring of signaling networks, leading to inappropriate behavior. For example, cells may grow when they are supposed to remain quiescent, survive when they sustain damage and are expected to die, or migrate when they should stay put; these inappropriate behaviors are the essence of the malignant phenotype.
Using meso-scale proteomics via microwestern array technology, I am investigating the normal behavior of signaling networks and how these networks are deranged in leukemia. I intend to identify the driving forces that cause signaling networks to respond inappropriately in leukemic cells using data-driven modeling, and to identify the most sensitive nodes that could be disrupted to break down an expected response. These driving forces are likely to be excellent targets for therapy, since interfering with the machinery driving inappropriate responses could restore normal behavior to cancer cells. This research can also give insight into how normal signaling processes are deranged to contribute to oncogenesis.