Professor, Department of PharmacognosyResearch Professor, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (RIPS)Molecular Cancer Therapeutics ProgramPhD, Pharmacy (Marine Natural Products), 1995, Oregon State University, Corvallis, ORPostdoc, 1995-96, University of Guam Marine Laboratory, Mangilao, GuamResearch Instructor, 1996-97, Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Contact information School of Pharmacy Department of Pharmacognosy University of MississippiFaser Hall, Room 405AUniversity, MS 39677Phone: (662) 915-7026E-mail: email@example.com
My research focuses on the discovery of drug leads for the treatment of cancer through the use of molecular mechanism-targeted bioassay techniques. This research integrates newly developed molecular-based bioassays to investigate natural products for their potential to synergistically enhance the antitumor effects of other chemotherapeutic agents by acting as promoters of tumor differentiation and cell death. The past two decades have seen dramatic progress in the identification of genes involved in tumor formation, the molecular mechanisms that control this process, and the biochemical/physiological conditions required for tumor growth and metastatic spread. As tumors grow, they rapidly outstrip the ability of surrounding blood vessels to supply oxygen, creating hypoxic regions within the growing solid tumor. The primary goal of our National Cancer Institute-funded research program "Anticancer Drug Discovery That Targets Tumor Hypoxia" (2R01 CA098787) is to discover non-cytotoxic molecular-targeted antitumor agents that inhibit the ability of tumor hypoxia to activate the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). As the crucial mediator of the transcriptional response to cellular hypoxia, HIF-1 controls the expression of over 100 genes involved in promoting tumor cells to adapt and survive under hypoxic stress. The activation of HIF-1 is associated with advanced stage cancer and treatment resistance. One consequence of this research is the discovery and characterization of dozens of new marine and plant-derived mitochondrial disruptors. This work has led to a new recognition of the widespread nature of potentially toxic mitochondrial inhibitors in many plant species, including a considerable number of those used as botanical dietary supplement (BDS) products.
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