Livezey, Dr. Mara

Title of Research Project:

Understanding how growth hormones affect cancer cell biology

Research Description:

About 70% of breast cancers in women express the protein estrogen receptor alpha. This protein binds the female hormone estrogen and estrogen stimulates tumor growth. Much is known about how estrogen stimulates cell proliferation. It is currently unclear how estrogen, and other proliferation-inducing hormones, affect related pathways, such as autophagy. Autophagy is a self-recycling mechanism that cancer cells use to make energy and additional building blocks to support growth. We are currently researching whether our pre-clinical anti-cancer drug affects autophagy in cancer cells. Additional research projects will broaden this question to the effects of estrogen, and other hormones, on autophagy.

If there is important prerequisite knowledge/skills required for students, please describe below:

Some knowledge of chemistry and biology.