Shasha Chong, Ph.D.
- Assistant Professor of Chemistry
- Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- California Institute of Technology
- 1200 E. California Blvd., MC 147-75
- City, State, ZIP
- Pasadena, CA 91125
- [email protected]
- Research field
- Gene Regulation
- Award year
The Chong lab will investigate how the expression of a transcription factor in Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, drives the expression of genes causing cancer development. Proteins that are known as transcription factors (TFs) come together at sites of key genetic sequences to regulate the expression of genes. In Ewing sarcoma, a mutant transcription factor known as EWS/FLI1 is formed by the fusion of two genes. Specific protein regions within the EWS/FLI1 TF allow it to interact with other proteins and form a critical “hub” to activate gene expression and drive cancer, yet how this occurs is unclear to researchers. Using a suite of single-cell and single-molecular imaging techniques, my lab aims to visualize how the EWS/FLI1 hub assembles to drive oncogene expression and map the different interacting partners that participate in this bustling gene expression center. Furthermore, we will identify small molecules that have the potential to disrupt these interactions, work that could open new lines of research toward the development of novel approaches for treating Ewing sarcoma.