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Jennifer K. Richer, Assistant Professor

Ph.D. (1992) Colorado State University

Department of Pathology

Campus Box 8104
RC1-North, P18-5122

Phone: 303-724-3735

The focus of my research is on the role of estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast and gynecological cancers, mechanisms of resistance to hormone therapy, and the differences between hormone dependent and independent breast cancer. We also studying microRNA (miRNA) which control epithelial cell identity, polarity and differentiation state, by repressing the transcription factors ZEB1 and ZEB2, and other mesenchymal genes in epithelial cells. MiRNA are small non-coding RNAs that bind to messenger RNAs and target them for destruction or inhibit their translation into protein. High-grade carcinomas have often lost expression of miRNA that control estrogen receptor expression and epithelial marker, leading to EMT and increased invasiveness. We have identified specific miRNA that control invasiveness, tumor metabolism, expression of growth factor receptors, response to anti-estrogen therapy, and sensitivity to chemotherapy. We are pursuing use of miRNA as prognostic markers and their therapeutic value for treating aggressive breast and gynecological cancers for which there are currently no effective therapeutic options.

Cochrane DR, Spoelstra NS, Nordeen SK and JK Richer. MicroRNA-200c Mitigates Invasiveness and Restores Sensitivity to Microtubule-Targeting Chemotherapeutic Agents. MOL CANCER THERAPEUTICS. Mol Cancer Ther. 2009 May 12. [Epub ahead of print].

Harvell DM, Spoelstra NS, Singh M, Finlayson C, Borges V, Phang T, Trapp S, Hunter L, Dye WW, Elias A, Horwitz KB and JK Richer. Molecular signatures of neoadjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer: characteristics of response or intrinsic resistance. BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND TREATMENT 112(3):475-88 2008.

Meenakshi S, Spoelstra NS, Jean A, Howe EN, Darling D, Shroyer KR, Broaddus RR, and JK Richer. ZEB1 Expression in Type 1 versus Type 2 Endometrial Cancers: a Marker of Aggressive Disease. MODERN PATHOLOGY 21:912-23. 2008.

Dimitrova IK, Richer JK, Rudolph MC, Spoelstra NS, Reno EM, Medina TM and Bradford AP. Gene Profiling of multiple leiomyomata ueri and matched normal tissue from a single patient. FERTILITY AND STERILITY Fertil Steril. 2008 Jul 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Spoelstra, NS, Manning NG, Higashi Y, Darling D, Meenakshi S, Shroyer S, Broaddus RR, Horwitz KB, and JK Richer. The transcription factor ZEB1 is aberrantly expressed in aggressive uterine cancers.CANCER RESEARCH. 2006 66(7):3893-3902.

Harvell DM, Richer JK, Allred DC, Sartorius CA, Horwitz KB. Estradiol Regulates Different Genes in Human Breast Tumor Xenografts Compared to the Identical Cells in Culture. ENDOCRINOLOGY 147(2):700-13 2006

Jacobsen BM, Schittone SA, Richer JK and KB Horwitz. Progesterone-Independent Effects of Human Progesterone Receptors (PRs) in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer: PR Isoform-Specific Gene Regulation and Tumor Biology. MOL ENDOCRINOLOGY 19(3): 574-87. 2005

Richer, J.K , Jacobson, B., Manning, N.G., and Horwitz, K.B. 2002. Functional differences between progesterone receptor isoforms: differential gene regulation in breast cancer cells. J Biol Chem 277: 5209-5218, 2002.

Jacobsen, B.M., Richer, J.K., Schittone, S.A. and Horwitz, K.B. 2002. New Human Breast Cancer Cells to Study Progesterone Receptor Isoform Ratio Effects and Ligand-independent Gene Regulation. J Biol Chem 277: 27793-27800, 2002.

Latest Publications in PubMed