Highlighted Projects

Gene expression-based diagnosis and prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most aggressive cancer types and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in industrialized countries. Non-small cell lung cancer counts for about 85% lung cancer incidences. About 25% to 30% of patients with non–small cell lung cancer have stage I disease and receive surgical intervention alone. However, 35% to 50% of patients with stage I non–small cell lung cancers will relapse within 5 years. It is currently impossible to select specific patients at high risk for cancer recurrence for receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. Our previous research identified tumor metastasis-associated mRNAs and microRNAs from genome-wide transcriptional profiles. This project will verify expression patterns of the identified candidate biomarkers using quantitative RT-PCR, Western blots, and dot-blot assays of patient tumor resections, blood/serum samples, and lung cancer cell lines for clinical applications.    

Molecular diagnosis and prognosis of breast cancer

Current breast cancer diagnosis is primarily based on mammography. However, the device can only detect tumors that are 1-2 cm in diameter. Our research goal is to identify molecular biomarkers that could predict the risk of breast cancer initiation and progression, and eventually to develop a non-invasive blood test for clinical applications.    

Risk assessment of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in human lung disease

Concerns over the potential multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-induced toxicity, including lung carcinogenesis, have emerged. We sought to identify MWCNT-induced gene expression signatures associated with lung pathology for medical surveillance and early detection of lung disease. Furthermore, we are interested in identifying molecular mechanisms underlying lung inflammation, fibrosis, and potential carcinogenesis induced by MWCNT exposures for intervention. To view perturbed mRNA/miRNA expression changes after MWCNT exposures in mice: visit http://www.mwcnttranscriptome.org/

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