MSTP in PhD Training
Program: Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Current advisor: Christopher Maher, PhD
Undergraduate university: Rutgers University-Cook College, 2017
Enrollment year: 2017
Integrative genomic approaches towards understanding metastatic prostate cancer
Metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is a clinically aggressive form of prostate cancer that develops after metastatic spread and resistance to androgen ablation. While the disease carries a poor prognosis, recent next generation sequencing studies have revealed that mCRPC exhibits numerous genomic and epigenomic alterations. However, while these studies have examined characteristics of the tumor cell population in mCRPC, there is a growing need for an integrative genomics approach towards understanding the role of the tumor-microenvironment (TME) in this disease. Moreover, the role of long-noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which have been implicated in cancer metastases, has not been explored through an integrative approach in prostate cancer. To address these gaps, I have been studying the role of the TME and lncRNAs in contributing to metastatic spread in prostate cancer by using various omics datasets collected from large patient cohorts, coupled with computational and statistical methods. In doing so, this will yield new insights into the biology of mCRPC and uncover potential therapeutic and prognostic strategies.