Robert Glazer

Professor of Oncology

Ph.D., Pharmacology
Indiana University, 1970
(202) 687-8324

One focus of our research is the role of the nuclear receptor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptord (PPARd), a ligand-dependent transcription factor involved in oxidative metabolism and tumorigenesis. We have established a transgenic mouse model expressing PPARd in the mammary gland, which upon ligand activation rapidly elicits ductal adenocarcinomas. We are currently examining the unique oncogenic and metabolomic signaling pathways in this model and in tumor cell lines generated from these mice. We have also established a PPARd-dependent gastric cancer model that is sensitive to a PPARd suicide inhibitor under development in collaboration with the Drug Discovery Program.

A second area of study concerns the role of stem cell antigen-1 (Sca-1) in mammary tumorigenesis. Sca-1 was the first marker of stem and early progenitor cells discovered more than 20 years ago, but whose function has remained a mystery. We have found that Sca-1 inhibits the expression of TGF-b signaling through a unique signaling pathway that activates Smad3. Loss of Sca-1 also reactivates other tumor suppressor genes, such as PTEN and PPAR(gamma).

Thus, our current research focuses on the inter-relationships between oncogenic and stem cell pathways, and their roles in modulating tumorigenesis.

Selected Publications:

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