(July 2013)- Cell Shape Changes May Lead to Metastasis: A crucial step in the development of skin cancer may result from changes in the genes that control cell shape, reports a team of scientists from Houston Methodist Research Institute, the Institute of Cancer Research (London, UK) and Harvard Medical School. Using automated high-content genetic screening and sophisticated computational modeling, the researchers identified more than a dozen genes that influence cell shape. Their work could lead to a better understanding of how cells become metastatic and, eventually, pinpoint new gene therapy targets for cancer treatment. This study was led by Chris Bakal of the Institute of Cancer Research and Stephen T. C. Wong of the Houston Methodist Research Institute. The multi-institutional team published its findings in the journal Nature Cell Biology. Yin Z, Sadok A, Sailem H, McCarthy A, Xia X, Li F, Garcia MA, Evans L, Barr AR, Perrimon N, Marshall CJ, Wong ST, Bakal C. "A screen for morphological complexity identifies regulators of switch-like transitions between discrete cell shapes."
(March 13, 2013)- We are pleased to announce Stephen Wong has awarded a 2012 Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation Collaborative Research Award together with Benjamin Arenkiel and Benjamin Deneen of Texas Children’s Hospital on “Uncovering roles for astrocytes at central nervous system synapses.”
(March 8, 2013)- Fuhai Li received a traveling award to attend the Sage Congress in San Francisco April 19-20, 2013.
(March 5, 2013)- A paper was published in Cell Metabolism: T. Deng, CJ Lyon, LJ Minze, J Lin, J Zou, JZ Liu, Y Ren, Z Yin, DJ Hamilton, PR Reardon, V Sherman, HY Wang, KJ Phillips, P Webb, STC Wong, R Wang, and WA Hsueh. “Class II Major Histocompatibility Complex Plays an Essential Role in Obesity-Induced Adipose Inflammation” 2013, 17:411-422 based on the joint research collaboration between CMCD and the Methodist Diabetes and Metabolism Institute.
(February 7-9, 2013)- We joined forces with the ICBP Center in San Antonio for our annual symposium. The SA-IU CCSB and CMCD Symposium on Cancer Systems Epigenetics was held in San Antonio. Over 150 people were in attendance, and we received excellent commentary from many who were pleased at the joint effort between the centers. We intend to repeat the joint symposium next year, hosting in Houston.
(January 30, 2013)- Stephen Wong is selected as a member of the Innovative Engineering for Health Committee of U.K., a £30 million partnership between the Wellcome Trust the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to fund biomedical engineering research and development to address major challenges in health.
(January 22, 2013)- A paper was published in Clinical Cancer Research led by Jenny Chang: AF Schott, M Landis, G Dontu, KA Griffith, RM Layman, I Krop, LA Paskett, H Wong, LE Dobrolecki, AM Froehlich, J Paranilam, DF Hayes, MS Wicha, JC Chang. “Preclinical and Clinical Studies of Gamma Secretase Inhibitors with Docetaxel on Human Breast Tumors”
(November 26, 2012)- We are pleased to announce that Trey Westbrook has awarded 2012 DoD Breast Cancer Research Program Era of Hope Scholar Award.
(November 13, 2012)- A paper was published in PNAS” Zhang W, Kai K, Choi DS, Iwamoto T, Nguyen YH, Wong H, Landis MD, Ueno NT, Chang J, Qin L. “Microfluidics separation reveals the stem-cell-like deformability of tumor-initiating cells” based on the CMCD pilot funding to the senior corresponding author, Lidong Qin.
(October 4-5, 2012)- Stephen Wong delivered an invited lecture in IEEE Life Sciences Grand Challenges Conference held at National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.
(July, 2012)- We are pleased to announce that Xiaofeng Xia was awarded an NIA R21 grant on “Genetically Engineered Stem Cells for Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy”
(May 1, 2012 - present)- Dr. Stephen Wong is a section editor for Bioinformatics and Imaging for the Journal Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
(March 1, 2012)- We are pleased to announce that Sierrah Grigsby from the University of Rochester has accepted an NCI summer student fellowship to work on Stephen Wong’s U54 center grant. Sierrah is a highly distinguished undergraduate in microbiology, a chief engineer for WRUR, and McNair Scholar 2011. She will be working closely with our computational group to construct cell-cell communication networks, integrate inter & intra-cellular networks, as well as develop mathematical models for integrated networks, and conduct computational simulation based models to understand dynamic behavior.
CMCD Annual Symposium (February 16-17, 2012)- Over a 100 people registered for the annual symposium and 95 were in attendance. There were 16 poster presentations, 3 wonderful presentations by our external advisory board members, in addition to 9 talks by our center’s personnel.
(February 13, 2012)- We are pleased to announce that Neal G. Copeland, Ph.D & Nancy A. Jenkins, Ph.D. will be leading our new Comparative Cancer Modeling (CCM) Component. For more than 30 years, Drs. Copeland and Jenkins have co-headed a lab. They have co-authored more than 780 papers and are among the 50 most cited biomedical research scientists in the world. They did their postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School, lead The Jackson Laboratory, and then the National Cancer Institute-Frederick, Mouse Cancer Genetics Program. In 2006, they moved to the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore. They now direct the cancer biology program at TMHRI. Both are members of National Academy of Sciences.
(January 20, 2012)- Kessler JD, Kahle KT, Sun T, Meerbrey KL, Schlabach MR, Schmitt EM, Skinner SO, Xu Q, Li MZ, Hartman ZC, Rao M, Yu P, Dominguez-Vidana R, Liang AC, Solimini NL, Bernardi RJ, Yu B, Hsu T, Golding I, Luo J, Osborne CK, Creighton CJ, Hilsenbeck SG, Schiff R, Shaw CA, Elledge SJ, Westbrook TF. A SUMOylation-dependent transcriptional subprogram is required for Myc-driven tumorigenesis. Science. 2012 Jan 20;335(6066):348-53. (Using a genome-wide RNAi screen, a new role for the SUMO-activating enzyme was found in relationship to the Myc oncogenic transcription factor. This indicates that investigation into SUMOylation inhibition may lead to a possible new cancer therapy.)
(January 9, 2012)- Dr. Bo Xu and Dr. Yi Li have joined our Experimental Biology Component. Dr. Xu’s lab is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which mammalian cells respond to DNA damaging agents in an attempt to understand the progress of tumorigenesis and to develop cancer therapeutics. Dr. Xu was a PI and Professor at Southern Research Institute and U of Alabama, Birmingham before joining TMHRI to direct the Molecular Radiation Oncology Program at Methodist. Dr. Li’s lab uses mouse models to study breast cancer and normal mammary development. His long-term goal is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of breast cancer initiation and evolution. He pioneered the use of the RCAS-TVA retroviral system for modeling sporadic breast cancer in mice. He did his postdoc work with Harold Varmus (first at NCI and then at MSKCC) before joining Baylor’s Breast Cancer Center.
(December 1, 2011)- Ming Zhan, Ph.D. has joined us as the new Chief of Bioinformatics and Component 2 co-Core PI. Previously, He also was Chief of Bioinformatics of NIA in addition of being an investigator of NIH intramural program. Dr. Zhan’s research involves both “dry” and “wet” laboratory experiments, aimed at a thorough understanding of bio-complexity and implementing cells novel functions and desirable behaviors through systems modeling and synthetic biology for disease therapeutics, drug discovery, and regenerative medicines.
(November 18, 2011)- Chunying Yang, Xi Tang, Xiaojing Guo, Yohei Niikura, Katsumi Kitagawa, Kemi Cui, Stephen T.C. Wong, Li Fu, and Bo Xu. Aurora-B Mediated ATM Serine 1403 Phosphorylation Is Required For Mitotic ATM Activation and the Spindle Checkpoint. Mol Cell. 2011 Nov 18;44(4):597-608. Issue Highlight. (This paper reveals a new role for the ATM kinase independent of DNA damage. This new role is critical to mitosis and the spindle checkpoint, and is dependent on the Aurora-B kinase.)