Cancer Progression and Metastasis

Our lab is particularly interested in dissecting the genetic networks between oncogenes and tumor suppressor in cancer progression and aim to identify the key upstream regulators and downstream effector involved in this process.

In particular, we have recently identified Skp2 E3 ligase serves as a critical player for cancer development upon conditional Pten loss and/or Neu overexpression using genetic mouse models (Nature, 2010; Cell, 2012).

Cancer metastasis is a complex process involving several key steps that enable disseminating primary cancer cells to colonize at distant sites. Metastasis causes the majority of deaths in patients with cancer, and treatment of this devastating form of the disease remains a major challenge. Although cancer metastasis has been under intensive focus recently, how this event occurs and the genetic programs responsible for it remain elusive.

The research interest in our lab is to define genetic programs that dictate cancer metastasis using biochemical and molecular biology approaches along with genetic mouse modeling.

We have recently identified a transcriptional complex network critical for breast cancer metastasis (Nat. Cell Biol, 2010). Our studies not only provided novel molecular insight into how cancer metastasis is regulated but also offered new paradigms and therapeutic targets for cancer metastasis.