Project 8: Roles of IKK1 in Skin Development and Dysplasia - Qiutang, Li, Ph.D.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and has been rising 4% to 5% annually.  Our experiments aim to elucidate the molecular mechanism of IKKalpha function in skin development and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).  IKKalpha plays an important role in controlling cell growth and differentiation by a mechanism independent of its kinase activity.  Elucidation of its function and its signaling pathway in skin would provide new strategies for prevention and treatment of the SCC.  We will take advantage of multi-disciplinary approaches and expertise offered by the Brown Cancer Center at University of Louisville.  We will continue to investigate the IKKalpha interacting proteins in keratinocytes and its regulated downstream target genes by approaches of proteomics and microarray hybridization techniques.

In addition, I am grateful for the privilege of having Dr. Mariusz A. Ratajczak as my mentor.  Dr. Ratajczak has expertise in blood stem cell research and is an excellent scientist who knows how to conduct research, how to choose the research topics, how to design experiments and analyze data, how to share his discovery with others and how to convert his basic research into clinical application.  He possesses many qualities in leadership, which enable him to serve as my mentor.