Cancer and Vascular Biology Lab
Our long-term goal in the cancer and cardiovascular biology laboratory is to enable the development of new and innovative therapeutics for the prostate and bladder cancers, lung edema and pulmonary fibrosis through better understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating tumor growth and metastasis, vascular permeability, angiogenesis and extracellular matrix remodeling. Primary focus of our research is on Protein kinase B (Akt), a serine-threonine kinase, and its signaling partners on mediating these processes.
In the area of cancer, we focus on determining the molecular mechanisms regulating tumor growth, invasion and metastasis of prostate and bladder cancers with an emphasis on developing therapeutics employing studies using pre-clinical mouse models. In the area of pulmonary fibrosis, we are investigating the molecular mechanisms mediating the myofibroblast trans-differentiation mediated by a transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ)-fibroblast growth factor (FGF) interplay and identify novel targets for therapeutic interventions. In the area of vascular biology, our research is centered on identifying how different growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietins differentially regulate endothelial-barrier function in controlling vascular leakage, inflammation and edema during various physiological and pathological conditions.