CANCER & AGING
Research Focus & Expertise
ABOUT THE LAB
For over a decade, our research has been directed at exploring the role of FOXO transcription factors in cancer and longevity. Our lab generated cutting edge screening technologies to monitor the activity of the PI3K/AKT/FOXO signaling pathway. Based on these tools we identified and characterized several genetic and pharmacological means to manipulate the activity of FOXO proteins. A major breakthrough has been accomplished with the discovery of the FOXO repressor protein TRIB2 as a novel oncogene in melanoma driving therapy resistance.
A second focus of our research is to explore the pharmacological modulation of FOXO proteins to treat cancer and other age-related diseases. FOXO factors are involved in cellular homeostasis and play a key role in the defense system against cellular stress. Intriguingly, FOXO3 has emerged as a longevity gene consistently associated with extreme human life and health span. We have founded the biotech company Refoxy Pharma GmbH, Berlin (www.refoxy.com/) to explore the therapeutic potential of small molecule FOXO modulating compounds.
The Cancer & Aging Laboratory will take an integrated genomics, biological and proteomic approach to:
- To characterize the mechanism underlying TRIB2 mediated resistance in different tumor models (pancreatic, glioblastoma and melanoma);
- Identify the key players that aid TRIB2 promoting resistance, thus unveiling new novel therapeutic targets to be exploited;
- To correlate TRIB2 expression with clinical data in samples from GBM and low-grade glioma patients.