Helen M. Piwnica-Worms, Ph.D.

Research

The major goals of my research program are to delineate how the cell division cycle is regulated in unperturbed cycling cells (cell cycle control); how cell division is delayed by replicative- and genotoxic-stress (checkpoint control); how cancer cells derail these regulatory pathways and ultimately to use this information to treat human disease. Our current studies focus on (1) cell cycle control, with particular emphasis on the Cdc25 family of protein phosphatases; (2) checkpoint control, with emphasis on the Chk1 and Chk2 protein kinases; (3) establishment and maintenance of cell polarity with emphasis on the Par-1 polarity kinases (4) translational studies in the form of phase I clinical trials and a preclinical model of breast cancer and (5) applying methodologies to noninvasively image endogenous proteins in intact cells and in mice.

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