Research Program Members

Edgar Arriaga, PhD
Professor

612-624-8024
arriaga@umn.edu

Exploration and characterization of subcellular organelles to elucidate the complexities of biological systems and address current biomedical problems; biochemistry of mitochondria and biotransformations of drug and xenobiotics in subcellular environments capillary electrophoresis, microfluidics, single molecule detection, and imaging.

Full bio

Silvia Balbo, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-624-4240
balbo006@umn.edu

Development of methods to quantify and identify markers for the investigation of mechanisms of carcinogenesis related to exposure to alcohol and tobacco using innovative mass spectrometry technology and cutting-edge adductomics with a focus of studying mechanisms of carcinogenesis related to head and neck, esophageal, lung and colon cancer

Full bio

Ann Bode, PhD
Professor

507-437-9615
ambode@hi.umn.edu

Mechanisms of cancer induction by targeting specific cancer genes, signaling proteins, and transcription factors.

Full bio

Erin Carlson, PhD
Associate Professor

612-625-2580
carlsone@umn.edu

Exploration of natural product chemical space; potential therapeutic utility of molecules identified from natural sources

Full bio

Margot Cleary, PhD
Professor

507-437-9655
clear007@umn.edu

The effect of body weight and food intake on the development of breast cancer and prostate cancer using mouse models. Studies include the effect of genetic and diet-induced obesity on breast/mammary tumor development, particularly with respect to body fat and serum IFG-1, leptin, and adiponectin levels

Full bio

Mark Distefano, PhD
Distinguished McKnight Professor & Merck Professor

612-624-0544
undefined

Chemistry and biology of famesyl diphosphate and related molecules which serve a multitude of functions in biological systems. It acts as a membrane anchor signaling proteins that regulate cell growth and is the precursor to many natural products with medicinal activity.

Full bio

Zigang Dong, MD, Dr PH
Executive Director

507-437-5600
zgdong@hi.umn.edu

Molecular mechanisms of cancer development and the actions of chemopreventive agents in cancer prevention; tumor promoter-induced signal transduction pathways and their role in the process of neoplastic cell transformation, carcinogenesis, and cancer prevention using molecular and cell biological techniques, transgenic mice and mouse gene-knockout models

Full bio

Robert Fecik, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-625-9335
fecik001@umn.edu

The synthesis of natural products and related compounds and evaluation of their role in the cancer process, particularly with regard to tubulin biology

Full bio

Naomi Fujioka, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

fujio002@umn.edu

Chemoprevention of tobacco-related lung cancer and therapeutic clinical trials; clinical interest is the treatment of lung cancer and head and neck cancer.

Full bio

Myron Gross, PhD
Professor

612-624-5417
gross001@umn.edu

The development of biomarkers and their application in epidemiologic studies for the identification of risk factors and mechanisms associated with chronic disease with a focus on breast, colon and pancreatic cancer as well as the specific areas of DNA repair, oxidative damage and antioxidants, adhesion molecules, inflammation, dietary components and genetic susceptibility

Full bio

Daniel Harki, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-625-8687
daharki@umn.edu

Synthesis and biophysical characterization of novel small molecules that influence cellular function; the development of probes to study cancer stem cell biology, synthesis and characterization of natural product analogues that target cancer stem cells, and the development of chemical probes to study protein-DNA interactions.

Full bio

Stephen Hecht, PhD
Wallin Land Grant Professor of Cancer Prevention

612-624-7604
hecht002@umn.edu

The Hecht laboratory focuses on mechanisms and prevention of tobacco-induced cancer, elucidating mammalian metabolic pathways and interactions of carcinogens with DNA. This information is used to develop biomarkers, which are applied in collaborative clinical and epidemiologic studies.

Full bio

Thomas Hoye, PhD
Distinguished Teaching Professor

612-625-1891
hoye@umn.edu

Discovery and development of new strategies for chemical synthesis, including applications to natural products.

Full bio

Fekadu Kassie, DVM, MSc, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-625-9637
kassi012@umn.edu

Development of natural and synthetic cancer preventive agents, with particular interest in lung cancer.

Full bio

Samir Khariwala, MD
Associate Professor

612-626-5900
khari001@umn.edu

Using tobacco carcinogen and toxicant biomarkers to identify those smokers who are most likely to prevent with tumors of the head and neck, and in developing targeted preventive interventions against head and neck cancer.

Full bio

Mindy Kurzer, PhD
Professor of Medicine

mkurzer@umn.edu

Interactions between hormone metabolism and cancer, as well as the biological effects of dietary estrogens (phytoestrogens).

Full bio

Shujun Liu, PhD
Associate Professor

507-437-9613
sliu@hi.umn.edu

How aberrant epigenetics and protein kinase activities drive tumorigenesis; exploration of activating and inhibitory molecules to modulate the aberrations pharmacologically.

Full bio

Sharon Murphy, PhD
Professor

612-624-7633
murph062@umn.edu

The metabolism of nicotine and nitrosamines; characterization of the specificity of P450 enzymes and UDP-glucuronosyl transferases involved in these reactions; collaborative studies on nicotine metabolism in smokers are on-going to investigate the influence of individual differences in nicotine metabolism on smoking behavior and nicotine dependence

Full bio

Frank Ondrey, MD, PhD, FACS
Associate Professor

612-625-9449
ondre002@umn.edu

Preclinical and clinical development of chemopreventive agents targeted at oral cancer and lung cancer.

Full bio

Jayanth Panyam, PhD
Professor and Department Head

612-624-0951
jpanyam@umn.edu

Use of novel delivery systems for treatment and prevention of cancer; mechanisms of nanotechnology-based drug delivery, with emphasis on understanding how various biological factors and carrier properties affect the effectiveness of targeted delivery systems.

Full bio

Laurie Parker, PhD
Associate Professor

612-624-9066
llparker@umn.edu

Development of probes and biomarker analysis strategies for detecting therapeutic efficacy with a current focus on companion diagnostics to measure pharmacodynamics of kinase inhibitor drugs in leukemia; development of new directions to use cutting edge proteomics to study oxidative stress and potential prostate (and other) cancer biomarkers

Full bio

Lisa Peterson, PhD
Professor

612-626-0164
peter431@umn.edu

Mechanisms of toxicity and carcinogenecity caused by environmental chemicals; how DNA repair proteins influence the mutagenic and carcinogenic properties of tobacco-specific nitrosamines; mechanism by which furan induces liver tumors in laboratory animals.

Full bio

Glenn E. Simmons, Jr., PhD
Assistant Professor

218-726-8386
gsimmons@d.umn.edu

Full bio

Michael Smanski, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-624-9752
smanski@umn.edu

Natural products as a source of novel anticancer chemotherapeutics; development of a high-throughput platform for mining new natural products from sequenced microbial genomes with a focus on molecules with anticancer properties

Full bio

Irina Stepanov, PhD
Assistant Professor

612-624-4998
stepa011@umn.edu

Development of novel biomarkers of human exposure to chemical carcinogens; carcinogen-induced damage to chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA; application of biomarkers to understand inter-individual differences in susceptibility to chemical carcinogen-induced cancer; tobacco carcinogenesis.

Full bio

Natalia Tretyakova, PhD
Professor

612-626-3432
trety001@umn.edu

Investigation of the structural basis for carcinogenic and anticancer activity of DNA- and protein-modifying agents; the effects of nucleobase modifications on DNA structure and stability. Mass spectrometry is used to quantify the formation of DNA and protein adducts in vivo. These studies identify molecular targets of exogenous and endogenous electrophiles and provide an insight into the origins of their biological activity

Full bio

Robert Turesky, BSc, PhD
Professor

612-626-0141
rturesky@umn.edu

Investigation of the metabolism of genotoxicants in the environment and diet, and development of biomarkers of their urinary metabolites and adduction products to DNA and protein. Mass spectrometric methods are employed to measure these biomarkers in collaborative molecular epidemiological studies, which seek to understand the role of hazardous chemicals and interindividual susceptibilities in the risk of developing cancer.

Full bio

Elizabeth Wattenberg, PhD
Associate Professor

612-626-0184
watte004@umn.edu

Molecular mechanisms by which different types of carcinogenic agents interfere with the cellular communications networks that control cell fate; application of 3-dimensional human cell culture systems as models for investigating chemical carcinogenesis.

Full bio

No Results