Our research focus is on mechanisms of cancer - a development in squamous epithelia. We focus primarily on the role of Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGFβ) and its signaling pathway in the regulation of tumor promotion and progression.
Non-melanoma skin cancer including both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is the most frequent cancer among Caucasian populations, with incidence rates matching all other cancers combined in these groups. Although exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the major risk factor for cutaneous SCC, other risk factors also include chronic inflammation, and wounding, as well as exposure to arsenic, tobacco and coal tar products. The multistage mouse skin carcinogenesis model has been instrumental in defining the basic biology of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) development in the skin and other epithelia.