Dong Joo Cheon, PhD
Areas of Study
- University of Texas Health Science Center2009PhD
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women in the United States and the most lethal gynecological cancer. The major challenges in the field include the lack of reliable biomarkers of early detection and prognosis, rapid tumor recurrence with chemoresistant disease, and limited treatment options for patients with recurrent disease. Our research goal is to identify the molecular mechanisms by which cancer cells interact with their microenvironment (e.g. collagen crosslinking, matrix stiffness, fibroblast activation) to acquire a metastatic phenotype and chemoresistance. In particular, we are interested in how tumor cells interact with particular subtypes of collagens (e.g. COL11A1, COL5A1) during tumor progression. Our long-term research goal is to develop a novel biomarker-guided targeted therapy to block tumor-stroma interaction, thereby decreasing tumor metastasis and chemoresistance. We employ genetic, genomic, and proteomic approach to address physiological functions of collagens, the relationship between collagen structure and function, and collagen-mediated signaling in epithelial cells.