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Qing Chen Lab

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Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, TUMOR MICROENVIRONMENT AND METASTASIS PROGRAM

Metastasis accounts for more than 80 percent of deaths from cancer and remains incurable, a devastating statistic. Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues are particularly interested in brain metastasis, which remains a significant problem in the clinic due to its rising incidence as a consequence of prolonged survival and limited efficacy of existing systemic therapies. They study how cancer cells interact with surrounding brain cells. In a recent study, Dr. Chen showed how invaded breast and lung cancer cells manipulate protective cells in our brains to facilitate metastasis. Her team also identified certain drugs that could be used to stop these cancers from spreading to the brain, which may lead to more effective therapies for patients in the future.

Emmanuel Skordalakes, Ph.D.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, GENE EXPRESSION AND REGULATION PROGRAM

The laboratory of Emmanuel Skordalakes, Ph.D., studies the complex protein assemblies that participate in the replication and maintenance of chromosome ends, known as telomeres. Much like the plastic caps on our shoelaces that keep them from fraying, telomeres protect our chromosomes and preserve our genetic information. Because telomere length is associated with cellular longevity and cancer, if we better understand the basis of telomere replication we may be able to develop new drugs that reduce the risk of developing cancer and other age-related diseases.