Erica A. Golemis, PhD
Office Phone: 215-728-2860
Lab Phone: 215-728-3885
In disease states such as cancer, tumors reprogram their signaling to support abnormal growth processes. Our laboratory is interested in defining the changes in cell signaling that occur as tumors initiate, progress, and develop resistance to drugs, with the ultimate goal of inhibiting these processes. We hope through these studies to better define the interactions of signaling pathways in malignant versus normal cells, allowing improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
In specific projects, our work divides between a body of translational studies focused on the optimal use of therapeutic drugs, and more basic investigations into fundamental cell signaling mechanisms.
In the area of translational studies, we have been exploring the use of HSP90-targeting inhibitors in two ways. Gaponova, Nikonova, Deneka, and Feng have been evaluating the use of novel HSP90-targeted cytotoxic agents for efficacy in small cell lung cancer, a disease with few therapeutic options. Beck and Korobeynikov have used high throughput RNA interference screening to identify genes that regulate response to the HSP90 inhibitor ganetespib. Nikonova has also been investigating the use of HSP90 inhibitors and other targeted cancer agents in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), that conserves many features of cancer. Arora is investigating the hereditary basis for undiagnosed familial gastrointestinal and genitourinary tumors. Members of the laboratory, led by Serebriiskii, actively collaborate with numerous clinical investigators at Fox Chase Cancer Center, on topics including definition of biomarkers for cancer risk and therapeutic response, and mechanisms of resistance to targeted inhibitors of EGFR, Aurora-A, Src, and other proteins relevant to the core interests of the laboratory. Increasingly, these studies incorporate analysis of underlying genetic features of tumors, through use of next generation sequencing and bioinformatic interpretation.
As basic research projects, Nikonova, Deneka, and Kopp studies the activity of a signaling scaffold, NEDD9, and interacting proteins such as the oncogenic kinase Aurora-A, to understand the requirement for their action in normal cells, lung cancer, and in ADPKD. With Korobeynikov, and as an area of emphasis, these investigators study regulation of the cell cilium, an organelle that coordinates receipt of extracellular signals related to fluid flow and the Hedgehog, Wnt, and other signaling systems, and which is regulated by NEDD9 and Aurora-A signaling.