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Meet Our Scientists

Scientists at the Institute are tackling some of the most prevalent and devastating diseases in the world through collaborations that draw on basic science and clinical perspectives. This dual approach offers a more comprehensive view of how diseases such as cancer and diabetes begin their assault and what can be done to halt or even prevent those attacks. By working together, our scientists capitalize on individuals' expertise in areas such as those described below.

Richard Arenas, MD

Dr. Arenas's studies focus on developing and evaluating novel therapies for solid tumors, primarily in breast and colon cancer. Among the lab's projects are the development of a novel system that delivers tumor suppressor genes in vivo to prevent cancer and studies of pathways that may disrupt the p53 gene.

Neil S. Forbes, PhD

Using engineering principles, Dr. Forbes is developing new therapeutics to treat regions of tumors that are inaccessible to standard cancer treatments. Forbes's team is applying their knowledge of a tumor's microenvironment to design bacterial vectors that target those remote areas.

D. Joseph Jerry, PhD

Research in the lab of Dr. Jerry, the Institute's Science Director, includes studies of the p53 gene and its role in breast cancer. His work with p53 is shedding new light on the link between the gene and tumor prevention.

Sallie Smith Schneider, PhD

Dr. Schneider, director of CEAR, is interested in signaling pathways involved in breast cancer. In particular, her lab is looking at how the secreted frizzled-related protein disrupts one of these pathways, work that could help identify potential drug targets.

Lawrence M. Schwartz, PhD

Studies in Dr. Schwartz's lab focus on the role certain genes play in apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Malfunctions in the machinery that controls apoptosis are involved in most human diseases, including cancer. Through their studies, his team hopes to learn more about this crucial process.

Sabyasachi Sen, MD, MRCP, PhD

Dr. Sen's studies of diabetes and obesity include research on the development and differentiation of adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which repair or replace damaged or dying cells. Dr. Sen's lab is also interested in the causes of vascular disease, which is five times more likely to occur in people with diabetes.

Rong Shao, MD, PhD

Research in Dr. Shao's lab is uncovering information about proteins released by cancer cells that play a role in angiogenesis-growth of new blood vessels to feed a tumor-and metastasis. Understanding these key processes could lead to better diagnostics and therapeutics.

Nagendra Yadava, PhD

Dr. Yadava's lab is delving into the causes of mitochondrial dysfunction, which can lead to diabetes, cancer, and mitochondrial diseases. Mitochondria-a cell's power producers-are involved in making life-and-death decisions for cells. Identifying the processes involved in mitochondrial dysfunction and associated pathophysiological mechanisms could lead scientists to new treatments for a range of human diseases.