Chandra Bartholomeusz, M.D., Ph.D.
Pricipal Investigator, Assistant Professor
My primary research interests lie in improving therapeutic options by providing target driven therapy that is less toxic than conventional therapies and to help reduce mortality for patients with very aggressive forms of breast cancer. The research in my lab is focused on defining the biological and molecular effects of signaling pathways in breast cancer, with emphasis on TNBC (Both Non-inflammatory and Inflammatory breast cancer) metastasis. In particular, a strong interest of my lab is to study the role of the MAPK-pathway and the inhibitors of this pathway, with emphasis in determining the factors involved in the mechanism of resistance of MAPK-directed therapy. My long-term goal is to develop a research program focused on (1) translating preclinical laboratory findings to novel investigator-initiated clinical trials and (2) identifying additional molecules to be targeted for therapy and biomarker development in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). I will use a combination of genomic, proteomic, and siRNA approaches to define the role of these kinases in tumor progression in TNBC.
Mary Kathryn Pitner, Ph.D.
Mary Kathryn is from Rome, Georgia and earned her Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular from Emory University in 2013. She loves horseback riding, cooking, and spending time with her family.
She joined the Bartholomeusz Lab in 2013 and is working on understanding the role of the MAPK pathway, specifically ERK1 and ERK2, in triple-negative breast cancer and is dedicated to helping breast cancer patients through research.
Jihyun Park, Ph.D.
Jihyun is from Seoul, KOREA. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and loves any kinds of music (rock, hip-hop, classical) and movies.
Her research focuses on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) which is an aggressive subtype with no proven active targeted therapies. Patients with TNBC have a very poor prognosis because the disease often metastasizes. Newer approaches to preventing metastasis and inhibiting tumor growth, are crucial to improving prognosis for these patients. She is exploring the function and impact of PEA15, ERK modulator, in TNBC as an approach for TNBC-targeted therapy.
Senior Research Assistant
Vidhu completed her Masters in Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Houston in 2013. She has been associated with cancer research for the past three years. She has been involved in design and execution of experimental protocols related to development, optimization and utilization of three dimensional multicellular tumor spheroid models for research projects on target identification and drug development. Her current research projects are focused on breast cancer biology and molecular therapeutics with special emphasis on triple negative breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, metastasis, cancer stem cells and drug resistance of cancer cells.