Research focus: The major research themes in our lab are systems-level analysis of therapy resistance and metastasis mainly in breast cancer. Importantly, how epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is an important initiator step in metastasis, contributes to drug resistance and how we can use this knowledge to better target cancer cells is another focus in our lab. Two most aggressive subtypes of breast cancer, HER2-overexpressing and triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) as well as ER+ breast cancer are the major disease-foci. In addition to breast cancer, we work on the molecular pathogenesis of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs).
In this line, we develop:
1. xenograft, transgenic and syngeneic transplantation mouse models of acquired drug resistance
2. primary/established cell line models of acquired drug resistance to combinatorial therapies in 3-D culture
3. different experimental and spontaneous metastasis models in mice.
Combining these models with high-throughput transcriptomics (e.g. RNA-Seq)/proteomics (e.g. RPPAs) approaches, bioinformatics/modeling tools and clinical sample analysis, our research group is aiming at identifying novel targets overcoming resistance to state-of-art clinically-applied or -tested drugs and preventing metastatic spread of breast cancer. At molecular level, two major foci are proteins and non-coding RNAs, especially microRNAs in our lab.
Research keywords: breast cancer | precision medicine | therapy resistance | metastasis | signaling pathways | target identification | non-coding RNAs