Lab In The News
Congratulations to Dr. Zachary Schug for being awarded a major Susan G. Komen grant!
Wistar is pleased to announce Dr. Zachary Schug has been awarded a $450,000 grant from Susan G. Komen Philadelphia for breast cancer research. Schug studies breast cancer cells when they metastasize to the brain, and how to block or starve brain metastases by disrupting metabolism.
NIH New Innovator Award Given to Wistar Researcher to Unravel the Metabolic Link Between Diet, Alcohol Consumption and Cancer
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced that Zachary T. Schug, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Molecular & Cellular Oncogenesis Program at The Wistar Institute, was awarded the prestigious NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in support of his research on the link between a high sugar/fat diet, alcohol use and cancer.
How Added Sugars and Alcohol Can Spread Cancerous Tumors | 5 Questions
Diet can affect cancer progression and response to treatment. Wistar’s Dr. Zachary Schug studies the effect of sugar and alcohol consumption on cancer metabolism and spoke with The Philadelphia Inquirer on his research.
The Schug Laboratory
Alterations in the acquisition and metabolism of nutrients are now firmly recognized as hallmarks of cancer development. Many, if not all, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes induce metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells through changes in the regulation of enzymes and transporters. These changes are necessary for cancer cells to meet the combined biomass and energy demands for growth and are only satisfied by increased capture and synthesis of cellular building blocks such as sugars, fats, and proteins. In addition, cancer cells often invade other tissues where the availability of certain nutrients is drastically different or grow so quickly that the blood supply, and the accessibility to oxygen and other nutrients that comes with it, becomes scarce. During these conditions of nutrient stress, many cancer cells will adapt and use alternative available resources to survive.
The Schug laboratory is interested in identifying and therapeutically targeting the metabolic changes that arise during the development of cancer and metastasis. They combine cell biology, biochemistry, metabolomics, lipidomics and genomics to uncover novel metabolic vulnerabilities in cancer. These targets are then further developed for use as effective therapeutic strategies for the improved treatment of cancer patients.
Michael Hulse, Ph.D.
Katelyn Miller, Ph.D.
Jessica Casciano, Ph.D., former postdoc (2016-2018); Licensing officer at Penn Center for Innovation.
Aurora Dalipaj, Wistar Biomedical Technician Training Program (2018); Dental student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.
Jessie Velasco, UPenn Summer Undergraduate Intern (2017); Ph.D. student in Biochemistry Department at University of Utah.
Jorgji Ndrecka, Wistar High School Summer Fellow (2016); Undergraduate student in University of the Sciences Philadelphia.
Julia Kurylec, Summer Undergraduate Intern (2019); Continuing undergraduate degree at Temple University.
Sara Papp, Undergraduate research student (2018-2020); Currently a Campus Screener at UT Health San Antonio.
Adam Cohen-Nowak, Wistar Institute (2016-2018); Medical Student at Thomas Jefferson University Medical College.
Alicea, G., Rebecca, V., Goldman, A., Fane, M., Douglass, S., Behera, R., Webster, M., Kugel, C., Ecker, B., Caino, M., Kossenkov, A., Tang, H., Frederick, D., Flaherty, K., Xu, X., Liu, Q., Gabrilovich, D., Herlyn, M., Blair, I., Schug, Z., Speicher, D., Weeraratna, A. "Changes in Aged Fibroblast Lipid Metabolism Induce Age-Dependent Melanoma Cell Resistance to Targeted Therapy via the Fatty Acid Transporter FATP2" Cancer Discov. 2020 Sep;10(9):1282-1295. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-0329. Epub 2020 Jun 4.
Zhao, S., Jang, C., Liu, J., Uehara, K., Gilbert, M., Izzo, L., Zeng, X., Trefely, S., Fernandez, S., Carrer, A., Miller, K., Schug, Z., Snyder, N., Gade, T., Titchenell, P., Rabinowitz, J., Wellen, K. "Dietary fructose feeds hepatic lipogenesis via microbiota-derived acetate" Nature. 2020 Mar;579(7800):586-591. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2101-7. Epub 2020 Mar 18.
Casciano, J.C., Perry, C., Cohen-Nowak, A.J., Miller, K.D., Vande Voorde, J., Zhang, Q., Chalmers, S., Sandison, M.E., Liu, Q., Hedley, A., et al. "MYC regulates fatty acid metabolism through a multigenic program in claudin-low triple negative breast cancer." Br J Cancer. 2020 Jan 16. doi: 10.1038/s41416-019-0711-3.
Zou, Y., Watters, A., Cheng, N., Perry, C., Xu, K, Alicea, G., Parris, J., Baraban, E., Ray, P., Nayak, A., Xu, X., Herlyn, M. Murphy, M., Weeraratna, A, Schug, Z., Chen, Q. "Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids from Astrocytes Activate PPARγ Signaling in Cancer Cells to Promote Brain Metastasis" Cancer Discov. 2019 Dec;9(12):1720-1735. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0270. Epub 2019 Oct 2.
Veglia, F., Tyurin, V.A., Blasi, M., De Leo, A., Kossenkov, A.V., Donthireddy, L., Schug, Z., Basu, S., Wang, F., Ricciotti, E., DiRusso, C., et al. “Fatty acid transport protein 2 reprograms neutrophils in cancer.” Nature. 2019 May;569(7754):73-78. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1118-2. Epub 2019 Apr 17.