Drs. Dawn Quelle and Rory Fisher receive an Internal Funding Initiatives award from the OVPRED!
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Dr. Dawn E.
Quelle, an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology, has received an
OVPR award entitled "Drug Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer." Dr. James
Mezhir, an Assistant Professor of Surgery, is a Co-Investigator on this grant.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), one of the deadliest human cancers, is
characterized by ineffectual treatments and an absence of biomarkers to predict
patient responsiveness to promising therapeutics. This cross-disciplinary study
seeks to define the mechanisms and biological significance of RABL6A-mediated
resistance to oxaliplatin in PDAC. Through molecular studies in PDAC cells,
pre-clinical studies in mice and analyses of patient tumors, this work will
establish if RABL6A is a clinically meaningful PDAC biomarker of oxaliplatin
sensitivity. Positive results may alter the medical management of PDAC patients
to include analyses of RABL6A status in patient biopsies, which could dictate
the choice of the chemotherapeutic regimen.
Dr. Rory Fisher, Professor of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine has received an OVPR grant entitled "Biological and Chemical Approaches to Validating and Targeting RGS6 as a Novel Alcohol Abuse Treatment." This project is based upon our discovery of a new gene,
RGS6, which is critically involved in alcohol dependence in mice. Given that RGS6 is capable of regulating
multiple Gai/o-coupled receptors
implicated in alcohol seeking behavior and dependence, understanding the
mechanism(s) underlying the reduction in alcohol consumption in mice lacking
RGS6 is imperative. No effective drugs
are available to treat alcoholism. Thus
the goals of this work are multifaceted.
We seek to provide novel mechanistic insight into the pathogenesis of
alcoholism by elucidating the role of RGS6 in this process. In addition, in collaboration with Dr.
Roman’s group, novel small molecule inhibitors of RGS6 will be identified that
will be tested for their ability to attenuate RGS6-dependent alcohol seeking
behavior and dependence in mice. If
successful this project would yield new biological insights into alcohol
dependence and provide novel pre-therapeutic lead molecules for future drug
development for alcoholism.