Anupama Munshi, PhD
Dr. Munshi’s long-term goal is to establish a Radiation Oncology laboratory within the Stephenson Cancer Center and the Department of Radiation Oncology that will focus on understanding molecular events that govern tumor response to radiation and other anticancer agents as well as toward developing innovative and effective approaches to sensitize tumor cells to radiation and DNA damage. Her project is based on the hypothesis that the mechanism of development of radiation resistance in human breast cancers involves a dynamic interplay between the RNA binding protein-HuR, the MAPK pathway, and DNA repair proteins.
Based on the preliminary findings, it is hypothesized that cytoplasmic HuR, through its interaction with stress activated signaling pathways and DNA repair proteins, functions to stabilize transcripts essential for cell survival and plays an important role in dictating radiation response. The project will test the hypothesis that cytoplasmic HuR interacts with the MAPK and DNA repair proteins to modulate radiation resistance. Furthermore, these studies will attempt to establish possible associations between radiation response, HuR expression, and other clinico-pathologic variables using tissue arrays and other innovative methods. Since the understanding of the different cellular mechanisms that lead to radiation resistance will have significant clinical implications, the proposed studies can identify mechanisms by which HuR contributes to radiation resistance and will define strategies for reversing the radio-resistant phenotype.