Brian C. Capell, MD, PhD

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) can occur on a number of epithelial surface tissues ranging from the skin and lung to the esophagus and oropharynx, and collectively, are the most common form of cancer in the world. Recent sequencing studies have found that mutations in epigenetic regulators that control gene expression frequently occur in all forms of SCC. Dr. Capell aims to harness the great accessibility of human skin to understand how altered epigenetics promotes cutaneous SCC.

Geoffrey P. Dann, PhD

Dr. Dann is studying how the addition of the amino acid arginine to proteins regulates their biological activity. When this process malfunctions, cancerous genes are transcribed into proteins. Dr. Dann will use high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify arginine-modified proteins in cells, chemical biological tools to decipher the role of such modification in determining protein function, and functional genomics to understand how this process regulates the genome.

Romain L. Riscal, PhD

Dr. Riscal aims to identify and characterize the molecular mechanisms by which a key enzyme involved in cellular metabolism, Fructose-1,6 bisphosphatase (FBP1), suppresses Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) liver cancer initiation and progression. Recent findings comparing HCC tumors and adjacent normal tissues reveal that FBP1 is consistently underexpressed in HCC tumors, functioning as a tumor suppressor in this setting.