Affiliate Scientist Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI)
Notch Signaling in breast cancer
The Notch signaling cascade is highly conserved and plays a crucial role in stem cell self-renewal, cell fate determination, epithelial cell polarity/adhesion, cell division and apoptosis in organisms from nematodes to vertebrates. Elevated expression of the Notch ligand JAG1, Notch pathway activation and expression of Notch target genes are defining features of poor-prognosis breast cancer. Currents efforts in the laboratory are directed towards elucidating the mechanism(s) by which activated Notch signaling contributes to breast cancer development. We are using genome-wide approaches including expression array analyses, chromatin immunoprecipitation and a large-scale RNA interference- and chemical compound-based screens to identify novel regulators and targets of Notch activation in breast cancer. The value of identifying Notch regulators and targets is for their ultimate exploitation as biomarkers or therapeutic targets in Notch-activated cancers.