,WVU Cancer Institute Research Programs
,Cancer Cell Biology Graduate Education
Dr. Michael Ruppert is the Jo and Ben Statler Chair of Breast Cancer Research as well as the leader for the comprehensive Breast Care Program of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.
Dr. Ruppert completed his chemistry degree at West Virginia University before going to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland for his joint medical degree and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Human Genetics. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
Dr. Ruppert's lab is focused upon the role of zinc finger transcription factors as transforming oncogenes. He has identified KLF4/GKLF as a candidate oncogene by expression cloning, which was the first report that KLF4 could function as an oncogene. Additionally, he reported that its upregulation in breast cancer is associated with the clinical outcomes for the disease. Currently, he is focused upon the regulation of microRNA (miR) signaling by KLF4. He has found that KLF4 promotes expression of miR-206 and that breast tumor cells have switched the effect of miR-206 on protein translation. These observations may help to explain how this pathway can promote different properties in tumor cells versus normal cells.