The Ubiquitin System and Human Cancer
Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding the role of the ubiquitin system in the development and progression of human cancer and its role in promoting cellular responses to current therapeutic agents, such as ionizing radiation, and the development of resistance to anti-cancer agents. We are particularly interested in investigating the regulated process of protein ubiquitination and proteolysis of DNA sensing and repair molecules. Currently, there are a handful of examples where DNA repair proteins are regulated at the level of ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis and current evidence suggest that many others are yet to be identified specifically in post-repair recovery. Thus, we hope this line of investigation will lead to the genetic and biochemical characterization of novel pathways that can be potentially exploited for therapeutic intervention.
A second focus of our research is to understand how the activity of the various components of the ubiquitin system is regulated and how deregulation of such activity impact or modulate downstream cellular responses. Our long-term goal is to identify some of the basic principles that govern cellular homeostasis and safeguard against cancer development, and ultimately applying knowledge and technology in preventing or treating cancer when these safeguarding mechanisms fail to function.
Tarek Abbas, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Lab Room 7141, West Complex, PO Box 800383