Cancer Research Interest Group members

Carolyn M. Klinge, Ph.D.

Cancer Research Interest Group Leader
Professor
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
Dr. Klinge’s research interests include mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapies targeting estrogen receptor in breast cancer and the impact of environmental contaminants on the epitranscriptome and how these changes relate to NAFLD.

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Becky Antle, Ph.D., MSSW, LMFT

Professor
Kent School of Social Work
University Scholar
Director, Center for Family and Community Well-Being
Dr. Antle’s research interests center around implementation science across a broad range of substantive areas, as well as a specific focus on family relationships including child welfare, interpersonal violence, relationship education, and the impact of medical and mental health issues on the family.

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Mayukh Banerjee, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Chronic arsenic toxicity, mostly through drinking of contaminated groundwater, is a global issue affecting about 225 million people worldwide, leading to multiple cancer types. My laboratory is interested in dissecting the molecular mechanisms of arsenic induced skin carcinogenesis using cell line models. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how arsenite can displace zinc from zinc finger proteins, affecting multiple cellular processes of vital importance thereby contributing to cancer development. We are also interested in exploring if zinc supplementation can prevent the arsenic binding to zinc finger motifs resulting in maintenance of proper function of these proteins and the pathways they are involved in.

Natalie DuPré, ScD

Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Population Health
As a cancer epidemiologist, I investigate the role of environmental factors and their biological mechanisms that influence carcinogenesis and cancer progression in humans by combining expertise across cancer, environmental and molecular epidemiology. My particular research interests are in exposures to ambient pollutants, natural vegetation, radon and environmental chemicals and variation in breast cancer incidence, breast cancer survival, mammographic density, and gene expression

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C. Tyler Ellis, M.D., M.S.C.R.

Division of Colon & Rectal Surgery, Hiram Polk Department of Surgery
Department of Epidemiology & Population Health
Dr. Ellis has interest research in exploring the role of environmental factors association with the rise in early-onset colorectal cancer. The impact of healthcare coordination, provider factors, and health care organization on the delivery of multidisciplinary cancer care and patient outcomes. To date, my work has focused on patient-provider shared decision-making and disparities with innovative treatment of rectal cancer and surveillance patterns. I have methodological expertise in secondary data analysis, survey research, and epidemiologic studies.

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Lesley Harris, MSW, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Kent School of Social Work
Dr. Harris's research interests are to improve and extend intervention strategies for older adults who have been impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic

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C. David Hein, Ph.D.

Professor and Chairman
Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Peter K. Knoefel Endowed Chair of Pharmacology
Distinguished University Scholar
Research program includes studies of the molecular epidemiology of cancer susceptibility, pharmacogenetics, genomics, personalized medicine, and functional genomics. I serve as leader in four National Institutes of Health-funded training programs: University of Louisville Cancer Education Program funded by the National Cancer Institute; University of Louisville pre- and post-doctoral training program in environmental health sciences funded by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS); University of Louisville Superfund Research Center Training Core funded by NIEHS; and University of Louisville Hepatobiology and Toxicology COBRE Faculty Career Development Program funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

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Venkatakrishna Jala, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Dr. Jala has interest research in understanding the role of Gut microbiota and Microbial Metabolites in regulating inflammation and gut barrier function in gastro-intestinal related disorders.

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J. Calvin Kouokam, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dr. Kouokam's laboratory currently explores the role of inflammation in chromium induced carcinogenesis. In addition, we are developing nature products for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases

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Juw Won Park, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
KY INBRE Bioinformatics Core
Dr. Park’s research focuses on the analysis of alternative mRNA splicing and its regulation in eukaryotic cells using high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and related genomic technologies, including their biological applications. He also develops novel computational and statistical methods for analysis of massive genome and transcriptome data.

Shesh N Rai, Ph.D., F.A.S.A.

Professor
Department of Bioinformatics & Biostatistics
Wendell Cherry Chair in Clinical Trial Research                                                                                                                                               
Director, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility, Brown Cancer Center
Director, Sample and Data Management Core, Superfund Research Center
Director, Biostatistics and Informatics Core, Center for Integrative Environmental Health Sciences
Executive Member, Interdisciplinary Bioinformatics
Member, Cancer Science and Research Committee, and Data Monitoring and Safety Board
Thoroughly experienced in designing (SAMPLE SIZE) and analyzing preclinical and clinical studies; pursue developing statistical methods with real applications in heterogeneity in CLINICAL STUDIES, threshold DOSE-RESPONSE models, SURVIVAL ANALYSIS with incomplete and correlated data, efficient estimation in MIXED effects (REPEATED measure) models, robust estimation in high-dimension data (BIOINFORMATICS), effects of SAMPLING weights in log-linear models, and characterization and estimation of POPULATION RISK.

J. Christopher States, Ph.D.

Professor
Distinguished University Scholar
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Vice Chair for Research
Associate Dean for Research
Director, Center for Integrative Environmental Health Sciences
Dr. States research interest are concentrated on arsenic toxicology, with a current focus on dysregulation of RNA metabolism in arsenic-induced skin cancer. Previously investigated DNA damage and mutagenesis by metabolically activated chemical carcinogens, and characterized molecular genetics of nucleotide excision repair in humans.

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Sandra Wise, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dr. Wise's research interests include how environmental chemicals, such as hexavalent chromium, depleted uranium and other metals, can transform normal cells into cancer cells. These studies have focused on DNA repair deficiency and its impact on chromosome instability as a driving mechanism to cellular transformation and the development of disease. Currently, she is pursuing how cells exposed to these chemicals induce DNA and chromosomal damage yet are able to survive and evade the normal cell death pathways that should occur in order to protect the organism from disease.

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Qunwei Zhang Ph.D.

Professor
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
The major interest of my laboratory is particle toxicology, especially nanotoxicology, genotoxic and carcinogenic effects of various particles including ambient particulate matter, cigarette smoke extract, and engineered metal nanoparticles. Currently, my laboratory is investigating the mechanisms underlying metal nanoparticle-related lung injury, inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer.

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