Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, PhD, Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Seth Frietze, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Health Sciences, UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Scientific Program Themes
- Molecular mechanisms of hematological malignancies.
- Mechanisms of breast cancer progression and breast cancer treatment response.
- DNA damage and repair and its role in carcinogenesis.
- Redox signaling in the pathology and therapy of disease.
Program Goals and Specific Aims
The overall aim of the Cancer Cell (CC) Program is to perform basic cancer research and enable important discoveries that positively impact cancer incidence and mortality in Vermont and Northern New England. The emphasis of the CC Program remains
in our catchment area and includes: high incidence cancers in the Vermont and Northern New York adult population (breast, skin, thyroid and colorectal cancers), high incidence cancers the pediatric population (leukemia), as well as cancer-related
conditions developing from environmental exposures (mesothelioma) in the Northern New England population.
To accomplish our goals, CC research is grouped into three broad thematic areas: Genetic and Epigenetic alterations in cancer, Redox dysregulation and oxidative stress in cancer and DNA damage and repair mechanisms. Each of these themes will study
cancer pathways and molecular targets for novel insights, and translate molecular discoveries into improved predictive and prognostic biomarkers that can be developed as clinical diagnostics for early detection of cancer.
Genetic and Epigenetic alterations in cancer will elucidate fundamental genomic mechanisms that contribute to deregulated expression oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, and contribute to cancer phenotypes such as metastasis and drug resistance.
Redox dysregulation and oxidative stress in cancer will identify cellular and molecular signaling events, which promote tumorigenesis and cancer progression.
DNA damage and repair in cancer will investigate structural and molecular mechanisms that contribute to oncogenesis.
Aim 1: Discover novel mechanistic insight into the development and progression of cancer. Program members employ a variety of systematic approaches to comprehensively identify the biochemical, genetic, and metabolic signatures
of early and late-stage tumors.
Aim 2: Identify new targets with mechanistic and therapeutic significance. Members employ state-of-the-art genetic and chemical approaches to identify and validate cancer vulnerabilities for biological and therapeutic significance.
Aim 3: Translate molecular and chemical probe discoveries into new chemoprevention, therapeutic, and diagnostic modalities. Physicians, physician-scientists, and basic researchers in the program collaborate to translate mechanistic findings for development of clinical trials.