Cell and Developmental Biology
University of California, Irvine
Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology
Thesis Topic: HIV/SIV Entry
A resurgence of interest in cancer cell metabolism has led to the discovery that many oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes transform cells by altering cellular bioenergetics. While essential for oncogenesis, this metabolic reprogramming makes cancer cells exquisitely dependent upon a high rate of nutrient flux. This is a potential Achilles' heel; constitutively-active oncogenes and the deletion of tumor suppressor genes prevent tumor cells from reducing biosynthesis and increasing catabolic reactions. Thus, cancer cells die when deprived of nutrients while normal cells become quiescent. Dr. Edinger's laboratory is taking a unique approach to fighting cancer by trying to exploit this difference by developing therapies that selectively starve cancer cells to death by down-regulating nutrient transporter proteins.