Marcelo M. Reis, M.D., Ph.D.

Title
Visiting Scientist
Department
Department of Chemistry
Institution
Federal University of Santa Maria
Address
CCNE, Departamento de Quimica, Predio 18, Sala 2425
Avenida Roraima 1000, Camobi
City, Zip
Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, 97105-900
Country
Brazil
Phone
-13401
E-mail
reismarcelo3[at]gmail.com
Research Field
Genetics
Award Year
2004
Country Of Origin
Brazil
Mentor Name
Bert Vogelstein, M.D.

Research

Cancer is a highly complex genetic disease. It arises from the progressive accumulation of mutations within genes that control cell growth and differentiation. Two main categories of genes are of particular interest in this matter, namely oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Oncogenes make cells grow in an uncontrolled way leading to tumor formation. Tumor suppressor genes on the other hand are responsible for stopping cells from dividing and migrating out of control. Activating mutations within oncogenes turn them permanently active and inactivating mutations make tumor suppressor genes unable to perform their role in controlling cell division. Therefore, the identification of genetic alterations in those genes is central for the understanding of how cancer starts and progresses. From all classes of genes within the human genome kinases have been shown to be among the most frequently mutated ones. Furthermore, kinases are excellent therapeutic targets. Our goal is to use large scale genomics to detect mutations within kinases that can be used to develop more accurate diagnostic methods as wells as be targets for highly specific cancer therapy.