Opportunities for research fellowships are available in the laboratory at the Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, FL.
I am a dermatologist and dermatopathologist with primary research interests in mechanisms of skin cancer development and progression. I am a NIH-funded investigator with extensive experience in mouse models of cancer, molecular biology, and in the diagnosis and research of skin cancer. Our recent work demonstrates novel and unanticipated effects of vemurafenib and sorafenib on rendering cells resistant to apoptosis and the contribution of this mechanism to cuSCC development in drug-treated patients. This work has evolved into three major foci of the laboratory: (1) characterization of JNK signaling and the advent of JNK2 as a target in skin cancers (cuSCC and melanoma); (2) an integrated genomic characterization of cuSCC progression from normal skin to actinic keratosis to cuSCC using next generation sequencing and UV-driven mouse models; and (3) examination of the roles of microRNAs in driving cuSCC development. Our goal is to derive novel targets for targeted chemoprevention and treatment of skin cancer.
We collaborate extensively with Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D. (UCSB) and Kevin Dalby, Ph.D. (UT Austin) to develop novel technologies to non-invasively sample skin for biomarker discovery and to validate additional kinase targets for cancer therapy.
For our studies, we utilize a combination of cell culture, in-vivo mouse models and human skin samples to explore three primary areas:
1) Genomic Determinants of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Progression
2) Interactions of MAP Kinase Pathways in Targeted Therapy for Melanoma
3) Exploration of Skin as a Surrogate Biomarker in Targeted Therapies for Cancer
There are opportunities for graduate students, post-baccalaureate and post-doctoral fellows to pursue research in the laboratory towards the goal of entering graduate school, dermatology residency, or obtaining independent faculty positions. Successful applicants can expect to have intensive training in state-of-the-art research methods as well as development of presentation and writing skills with regular and frequent contact with the PI.
Please contact Kenneth.Tsai@moffitt.org (www.kytsai.com) for further information.
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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
12902 Magnolia Dr, SRB-3
Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: (813) 745-4864