Cancer Research Team

On any given day, walking through the labs of the Center for Cancer Research, you might encounter any of the following investigators translating cellular processes into a potential cure for cancer.

Director

Lawrence Pfeffer

Lawrence M. Pfeffer, PhD

College of Medicine

Dr. Pfeffer researches an anticancer drug called interferon, which is an important component of the host response to various insults. By understanding the way this compound works at the cellular and molecular level, he may be able to identify new strategies to enhance the drug's effectiveness and/or diminishing undesirable side effects. He is also interested in identifying the role of cancer stem-like cells in the therapeutic resistance of cancer. His focus is on treating brain cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma.

Faculty

Subash Chauhan

Subash Chauhan, PhD

College of Pharmacy

The primary focus of Dr. Chauhan's lab is to identify and characterize novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets for cancer. Recently his lab has identified a novel trans-membrane mucin MUC13 which is highly over-expressed ovarian and pancreatic cancer cells. This may be potential biomarker for early cancer diagnosis as well as a good target for antibody guided targeted cancer therapy. His lab is also involved in cancer health disparity research. 

Meiyun Fan

Meiyun Fan, PhD

College of Medicine

Dr. Fan is studying gene transcription regulation in breast cancer cells. She is trying to identify transcription regulators that drive the progression of breast cancer cells from a curable estrogen-dependent stage to a life-threatening estrogen-independent stage. 

Meena Jaggi

Meena Jaggi, PhD

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Jaggi's lab is investigating the role of Protein Kinase D and wnt signaling in cancer progression. Signaling pathway downstream of the E-cadherin/ß-catenin alters the malignant phenotype of cancer cells. She is studying the regulation of this complex by Protein Kinase D1 (PKD1). She is also involved in prostate cancer health disparity research. 

Ronald Laribee

Ronald Laribee, PhD

College of Medicine

The Laribee laboratory uses budding yeast and mammalian cell culture models to study conserved epigenetic pathways that regulate gene expression and DNA repair and are mutated in human cancers.

 

Len Lothstein

Len Lothstein, PhD

College of Medicine

Dr. Lothstein is confronting two major impediments to successful cancer chemotherapy and long-term patient survival: Cancer cell resistance to drug treatment and the irreversible damage to the heart caused by current therapies. He is developing a new class of anti-cancer drugs designed to circumvent drug resistance in cancer cells while protecting the heart from damage. 

Yi Lu

Yi Lu, PhD

College of Medicine

Dr. Lu studies how breast cancer cells grow and metastasize, as well as how blood vessel development to the tumors are inhibited by a gene that suppresses these mechanisms. He is also researching viral gene therapy for prostate cancer. 

Daruka Mahadevan

Daruka Mahadevan, MD, PhD

College of Medicine

Daruka Mahadevan, M.D. Ph.D., is a medical oncologist physician scientist with an expertise in structure-based drug discovery, design and development of novel anti-cancer agents. His laboratory conducts translational drug development in the areas of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, pancreas cancer, prostate cancer and Gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Laboratory studies have led to novel combination studies in early phase clinical trials in hematologic and solid malignancies. 

Gustavo Miranda-CarboniGustavo A. Miranda-Carboni, Ph.D.

Department of Medicine

The focus of the Miranda-Carboni lab is to understand the molecular role of Wnt10b/b-catenin signaling in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC: Estrogen & Progesterone Receptor negative and HER2 negative). My lab has developed a novel mouse model—MMTV-Wnt10b-IRES-LacZ—in which the Wnt10b-driven tumors are phenotypically most similar to human TNBC, compared to other breast cancer tumor models. Ongoing projects of the lab include: biomarker characterization for aggressive breast cancer in African-American at high risk for TNBC, the role of Wnt10b/b-catenin signaling in the tumor microenvironment and metastasis, epigenetics, developing therapeutics for TNBC patients and addressing cancer health disparities. 

Susan MirandaSusan A. Miranda, Ph.D.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and BME 

The focus of the Miranda lab is to understand the role of estrogens and environmental estrogens, such as bisphenol A (BPA), in breast cancer and throughout the body, including bone cells. The lab focuses on gene regulation, genome-wide transcription factor binding (ChIP-seq) and cellular assays to understand estrogen action. 

Ramesh Narayanan

Ramesh Narayanan, PhD

College of Medicine

Dr. Narayanan's primary focus has been small molecule drug discovery and translational oncology research. His expertise includes identification of novel therapeutic targets, discover new chemical entities (NCEs), reposition NCEs and therapeutic targets, and understand molecular mechanisms of action of therapeutic targets and NCEs with emphasis on hormone- dependent and -resistant cancers. 

Tiffany Seagroves

Tiffany Seagroves, PhD

College of Medicine
icon Lab: Seagroves Lab

Dr. Seagroves is discovering how the transcription factor HIF-1alpha controls downstream target gene expression and promotes cancer stem cell self-renewal, tumor-initiation potential and metastasis in breast cancer. High levels of HIF-1alpha are found in most solid tumors, corresponding with poor clinical outcome and resistance to radiation and chemotherapy. She also collaborates with several investigators on campus by using the mouse as a pre-clinical model to test anticancer activity of novel therapeutics. 

Zhaohui Wu

Zhaohui Wu, PhD

College of Medicine

The Wu laboratory goal is to improve cancer treatment efficiency and reduce therapeutic resistance of cancer cells by modulating the genotoxic NF-kB signaling pathway. We envision the insights into the unique mechanisms of NF-kB genotoxic signaling pathway will reveal novel drug targets selectively antagonizing the cancer therapeutic resistance meanwhile keeping physiological functions of NF-kB in regulating immunity, resulting in efficient cancer therapy and fewer relapse. 

Junming Yue

Junming Yue, PhD

College of Medicine

Dr. Yue investigates how miRNAs regulate tumor cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis and metastasis. His lab uses lentiviral, adenoviral and adeno-associated viral vectors to deliver miRNA genes in vitro and in vivo to study the miRNA-mediated gene regulatory network in the development and treatment of ovarian cancer.

 

Administration

Rene' D. SmiraRene' D. Smira

Business Manager

Rene is the Business Manager for the Molecular Resource Center (MRC) and the Center for Cancer Research Building.  She provides Managerial and Fiscal support for both entities, as well as various self-funded Core Labs.  She is involved in the day-to-day business operation of the Center for Cancer Research and assists the various Directors and Principal Investigators with administration, personnel, research and training.

Laura EgresLaura Egres

Administrative Specialist II

Laura provides administrative and fiscal support for the Center for Cancer Research and it’s Director, the Molecular Resource Center (MRC), various self-funded Core Labs and the Department of Pathology.  She is the first point of contact for the Center for Cancer Research Building and can assist you with arrangement of the auditorium and conference rooms for meetings or classes, as well as other building related inquiries.

Outside photo of the Cancer Research BuildingGive Now Online

Contact Us

UTHSC Center for Cancer Research

19 S. Manassas
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-7855

Director of the Center for Cancer Research:
Lawrence M. Pfeffer, PhD
E-mail: lpfeffer@uthsc.edu