Researchers in the Pediatric Molecular Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics group at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research focus on several pediatric cancers and their related conditions.
The laboratory of Steve Angus, PhD, is interested in understanding the changes in the protein kinase signaling network (the kinome) during tumor development and progression and in response to targeted therapeutics. Dr. Angus' lab has developed a chemical proteomic approach that provides a unique, quantitative portrait of the functional kinome that they integrate with genomic data. The goal of Dr. Angus' lab is to identify kinases that may be especially susceptible to targeted treatment strategies in rare pediatric cancers and other tumor types.
The major focus of the Melissa Fishel, PhD, laboratory is using clinically relevant systems to study cancer with 3-dimensional tissue culture and animal models to investigate critical molecular targets that impact upon survival and metastasis. Investigation of pathways involved in redox signaling and DNA repair through APE1/Ref-1 (AP endonuclease1 / Redox effector factor 1) as well as components of the coagulation cascade are being interrogated as therapeutic targets.
The research laboratory of Rachel Katzenellenbogen, MD, is focused on human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common infection that affects more than 75 percent of the adult population. Nearly 5 percent of cancers worldwide are caused by HPV. Based on their association with cancer, different types of HPV are categorized as high-risk or low-risk. The lab focuses on the host-pathogen interactions that activate oncogenic pathways and dysregulate typical cellular processes to permit cancer development and progression of HPV-associated cancers. The Katzenellenbogen Lab also conducts fundamental molecular biology studies and works to link those models of disease to true pathophysiology in people.
The research laboratory of Mark R. Kelley, MS, PhD, focuses on translational research in DNA damage and repair, specifically, to determine how those activities can be exploited therapeutically to treat cancers and protect normal cells from oxidative and DNA base damage. The Kelley Lab has focused specifically on the enzyme apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1/ Redox effector factor-1 (APE1/Ref-1)—mechanistically as well as a therapeutic target in cancers and other diseases; ocular, IBD. The Kelley lab is dedicated to fast-tracking collaboration and translational research to find more effective cancer treatments as well as treatments for other diseases related to APE1/Ref-1. The lab has taken its lead drug to Phase 1 trials in cancer and Phase 2b trials in diabetic retinopathy/diabetic macular edema.
Betty and Earl Herr Professor of Pediatric Oncology Research Associate Director of Basic Science Research, Indiana University Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center (IUSCCC) Director, Program in Pediatric Molecular Oncology & Experimental Therapeutics Glenn W. Irwin, Jr. M.D. Research Scholar Bantz-Petrino Translating Research into Practice Scholar Co-leader, Cancer Drug Discovery and Development Program (CDDD), IUSCCC Chair, IU Conflict of Interest Committee
The research laboratory of Karen E. Pollok, PhD, focuses on the development of new combination therapies for solid tumors such as glioblastoma and pediatric sarcoma. The overall strategy is to use precision genomics to guide prioritization of targets for study. Emphasis is on investigations that evaluate the therapeutic effect of blocking DNA damage and repair pathways in the context of front-line therapies.