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University of Colorado Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
 

James DeGregori, PhD

Professor


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Director of Molecular Biology

​Contact Information:​

Phone: (303) 724-3230
E-mail: James.Degregori@ucdenver.edu

Tour the DeGregori Lab



Graduate Program Memberships

Molecular Biology​
Cancer Biology​
Immunology
MSTP
BSP

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Studies to better understand the conditions that foster the initiation of leukemias and lymphomas are currently a major thrust of the lab. We have developed an evolutionary based model for cancer development, Adaptive Oncogenesis.  Using mouse models, we are currently exploring how reduced progenitor cellular fitness resulting from carcinogen exposure, irradiation, inadequate diet or aging can select for adaptive oncogenic events and thereby promote the expansion and fixation of oncogenically initiated cells. While current views of carcinogenesis focus on oncogenic mutations as the limiting step, our studies support a novel rationale for links between tumorigenesis and carcinogenic contexts: these contexts may promote the clonal expansion of cells bearing particular initiating events, in part by reducing progenitor pool fitness which selects for adaptive oncogenic mutations.

Other studies in the lab are geared towards the development of novel therapeutic strategies to treat leukemias and non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). We perform genome-wide loss-of-function screens using RNA interference (RNAi) to identify genes whose inhibition will synergize with current targeted therapeutics to eliminate cancer cells.  Our screens have identified a number of genes that synergistically inhibit chronic myelogenous and acute myelogenous leukemia cells, as well as NSCLC cells, in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and these genes have been validated as therapeutic targets by using both pharmacological and genetic approaches. These studies could lead to discovery of adjuvants to current therapies that will more effectively treat or possibly even cure common malignancies.




Current Lab Colleagues

 Results From Research : Selected site and subsites
PicturesLast NameFirst NameJob TitleEmailBio Page
Alvarez-Calderon​FransescaGraduate StudentFrancesca.Alvarez-calderon@UCDenver.edu View Bio
FleenorCourtneyGraduate StudentCourtney.Fleenor@UCDenver.edu View Bio
GregoryMarkResearch InstructorMark.Gregory@UCDenver.edu View Bio
HenryCurtisResearch InstructorCurtis.Henry@UCDenver.edu View Bio
HigaKellyGraduate StudentKelly.Higa@ucdenver.edu  
JimenezLindaProfessional Research AssistantLinda.Jimenez@ucdenver.edu  
LiggettAlexGraduate Studentalex.liggett@ucdenver.edu  
LittleNathanielPostdoctoral FellowNathaniel.Little@ucdenver.edu  
PhamCatherineGraduate Studentcatherine.pham@ucdenver.edu  
RozhokAndrewPostdoctoral Fellowandrii.rozhok@ucdenver.edu  
SalstromJenniferPostdoctoral FellowJennifer.Salstrom@UCDenver.edu View Bio
ScarboroughHannahGraduate Studenthannah.scarborough@ucdenver.edu  
VasanSuominiProfessional Research Assistantsuomini.vasan@ucdenver.edu  
ZaberezhnyyVadymProfessional Research AssistantVadym.Zaberezhnyy@UCDenver.edu View Bio


Research Sponsors:

Our research is generously supported by the following organizations:

National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: www.lls.org

Uniting Against Lung Cancer: www.unitingagainstlungcancer.org

Cancer League of Colorado: www.cancerleague.org

University of Colorado Cancer Center: www.uccc.info

AMC Cancer Fund: www.amc.org

Cancer Research Institute: www.cancerresearch.org