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1990 …2022

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Research Interests

Current therapeutic strategies for cancer patients have shown only moderate success in reducing incidence and mortality rates and improving survival, thus a new class of more specific treatments for various cancers is greatly needed. A major goal in cancer research is to understand the molecular events that are associated with this disease to aid in the development of such novel therapies.

The long-term goal of my research program is to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause cancer and to use this information to provide new avenues for cancer therapy. My work focuses on an enzyme known as Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1), which plays a central role in controlling cell division and is known to exist at abnormally high levels in many types of human cancers. Compounds that inhibit Plk1 are currently viewed as promising new anti-cancer drugs. To fully exploit Plk1 as a potential anticancer drug target, it is essential to fully understand its regulation and function, particularly in the context of the cancer cell.

We are using a combination of biochemistry, cell biology and mouse genetics to understand how Plk1 contributes to oncogenesis and chemoresistance. My lab is in a position to make crucial contributions in understanding how Plk1 can be exploited as a target for drugs to treat a number of important human diseases, including prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma and lung cancer.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Washington State University

1998

Master of Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences

1994

Bachelor of Science, Peking Uni.

1991

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