Current Research and Scholarly Interests
The laboratory is focused on human cancers that are dependent on EGFR cell signaling. In particular, we recently established that the AGR2 protein serves an essential role in EGFR presentation to the cell surface, and represents a novel mechanism of regulating cell signaling. We have long history in pancreatic biology and disease. Recent work elucidated the role of EGFR cell signaling during tissue regeneration in response to pancreatitis. Our overall hypothesis is that EGFR signaling serves a vital role in tissue regeneration, and that chronic injury and persistent wound healing lead to the development of preneoplastic lesions and eventually cancer. We hypothesize that this pathway is active in a large number of human cancers. If true, new opportunities for the treatment of preneoplastic and neoplastic diseases are provided, which represents a major focus of the laboratory. Active projects are focused on cancer pathogenesis, tissue regeneration, development of diagnostic assays, and drug development.