Congratulations to Developmental and Cell Biology Professor Lee Bardwell and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Associate Professor Olga Razorenova on receiving 2020 Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) Pilot Study awards. The awards are designed to support exceptionally innovative and/or unconventional research projects at UCI.
Professor Bardwell’s project, a collaboration with UCI Professors David Fruman and James Nowick, focuses on the PIK3CA gene, which is frequently mutated in human cancer. Current drugs targeting PIK3CA have many unwanted side effects. The team’s goal is to create and test new peptidomimetic (small peptide mimic) compounds that target PIK3CA. Creating a small mimic may avoid the unwanted side effects of current PIK3CA drugs.
Professor Razorenova is working toward a treatment for triple-negative breast cancer. Her group established the presence of a metastasis-promoting protein—CUB-domain containing protein 1 (CDCP1)—on the cell surface and in mitochondria of triple-negative breast cancer cells. Her project will investigate the role of CDCP1 in mitochondrial metabolism and assess the potential of targeting CDCP1 for treatment of triple-negative breast cancer.
This innovative research has the potential of reaping great benefit in the field of treating cancer patients.