The Brockman Foundation has provided funding for a research project led by renowned geneticist Dr. Guillermina Lozano. Dr. Lozano is recognized for her studies of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway, which is undermined in a large percentage of human cancers via mutations and deletions of p53. Her laboratory was the first to identify a transcriptional activation function for p53.
Depletion of p53 tumor suppressor activity by multiple mechanisms is a common event in the vast majority of human cancers. The goal of the Foundation-funded research project is to understand the genomic changes that lead to tumor development and metastasis (tumor evolution) in a somatic model driven by an initiating p53 missense mutation in the context of an unadulterated tumor microenvironment and immune system.
Dr. Lozano and collaborative investigators’ overarching hypothesis is that different genetic mutations cooperate with mutant p53 to drive disease initiation and progression by various mechanisms (tumor evolution). An understanding of these mechanisms would allow for the development of therapeutics that target a tumor cell’s vulnerabilities. Ultimately, their findings will lead to a deep understanding of how p53 mutant tumors evolve and identify vulnerabilities that may be targeted in human cancers.
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