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New Faculty Join CGE - Spring 2014

Scott Dehm, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Masonic Cancer Center

Research Interests

Research in the Dehm laboratory focuses on the role of the androgen receptor in prostate cancer development and progression. The androgen receptor is a nuclear steroid receptor transcription factor that responds to the physiologic androgens testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Traditionally, treatment for metastatic prostate cancer has depended on blocking the production or action of these androgens in order to inhibit the growth and survival promoting functions of the androgen receptor. Androgen depletion is therefore one of the earliest examples of targeted cancer therapy. The primary limitation of androgen depletion is that prostate cancer will eventually develop resistance and recur with a lethal castration-resistant phenotype. Our laboratory studies the changes that occur in the therapeutic target (the androgen receptor) in response to the targeted therapy (androgen depletion) to understand the mechanisms underlying this progression to therapy-resistant disease. Our approach is to employ a variety of genomic, molecular biology, and biochemistry tools to study prostate cancer progression in clinical prostate cancer specimens as well as cell- and xenograft-based models of the disease. Our ultimate goal is to develop new AR-targeted therapies that could more effectively and durably suppress prostate cancer growth.

Teresa Reineke
Professor, Chemistry, College of Science and Engineering

Research Interests

Materials chemistry is making a tremendous impact on modern medicine and biological research. We are interested in: 1) the development of novel carbohydrate-based polymers and dendrimers for the cellular delivery of RNA and DNA for research and therapeutic applications, 2) the design of glycopolymer and targeted contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging and disease diagnosis, and 3) “theranostic” agents that combine the ability to perform therapeutic delivery and diagnostic imaging. Studies in these areas are centered both on understanding the fundamental mechanisms involved in biomaterial function and applied clinical use of our compounds for advanced diagnostic and treatment strategies. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and students in the Reineke lab routinely receive training in several areas of chemistry, biology, and medicine.

CGE Travel Grants

Congratulations to the Fall 2014 Awardees:

Rebecca LaRue (Largaespada)
Amy Molan (Harris)
Amber Schoenecker (Harris)
Jo Varshney (Largaespada)

Spring Deadline: February 10th for Travel March 1st - August 31st

About the CGE:

Advances in DNA sequencing technology have made it possible to identify the many genes within an organism’s genome.  Two current challenges are to understand how these genes work together to dictate how an organism grows and develops and how to make changes in genomes for medical and commercial purposes.  Meeting these challenges requires sophisticated tools to manipulate genes.  The mission of the Center for Genome Engineering is to develop and disseminate the tools that enable efficient, responsible genome engineering.

At the heart of the CGE’s genome engineering technology are transposable elements – segments of DNA capable of changing their chromosomal position or moving from one DNA molecule to another.  Transposable elements constitute a large portion of DNA in many organisms.  They naturally shape the genetic code by causing mutations, rearrangements and sequence duplications.  At the Center for Genome Engineering, scientists are harnessing these naturally occurring genome engineers to enable precise changes to the genetic code.

We are excited by the progress of the Center since its establishment in 1999 and by the many discoveries of Center scientists that enable new approaches to genome engineering. The Center is poised for the next decade of discovery and is ready to implement its technologies to solve real world problems.