Erika is now funded by an F31 from the NCI to study metabolism in cyclin E-high ovarian cancer! What a huge accomplishment!
Congratulations to Kelly Leon, 2nd year grad student, whose review on JmjC demethylases in senescence was just accepted! Update Jan 9: here is a link to the review: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/10/1/33
Congratulations to Erika for winning best poster award for her work Targeting IDH1 as a Pro-senescent Therapy for High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer!
Raquel was awarded a 2-year internal fellowship to study the role of p16-loss-mediated anti-tumor immunity!
Erika submitted her 1st first author paper! Read the preprint here.
She found IDH1 by looking at metabolites in fallopian tube cells compared to high grade serous ovarian cancer cells. Interestingly, while glycolytic metabolites were not consistently altered, TCA cycle metabolites were universally high in the cancer cells. This suggests that targeting the TCA cycle is a therapeutic strategy for high grade serous ovarian cancer. When she looked at TCA cycle enzyme expression, IDH1 stood out because it was high and associated with worse progression-free survival. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic knockdown of wildtype IDH1 inhibited proliferation by inducing senescence, a stable cell cycle arrest. She discovered that this was through an increase in repressive H3K9me2 and proliferation-promoting gene loci. Her data indicate that wildtype IDH1 can be targeted in high grade serous ovarian cancer. There are inhibitors in clinical trials that inhibit the wildtype enzyme- we will further work to see whether we can use these for ovarian cancer patients. This is another example of the interplay between metabolism and epigenetics.
The lab’s work and team spirit were featured on the Penn State Medicine website! Check out the article: https://pennstatemedicine.org/2018/09/25/team-research-reveals-how-cells-eat-and-sleep-may-impact-several-cancer-types/