Valeri VasioukhinDepartment of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA F1000 Faculty Member (since 08 May 2002)
Associate Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Human Biology Division
Affiliate Associate Professor, Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Washington
PhD, Institute of Cytology, Academy of Sciences, USSR, and University of Geneva, Switzerland, Cell Biology, 1992
Postdoc with Dr Elaine Fuchs, University of Chicago, 1997-2001
Postdoc with Dr Angela Tyner, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1993-1996
American Association for Cancer Research
American Society for Cell Biology
HONORS AND AWARDS:
2002-2004, V Scholar Award, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1985-1985, Red Diploma, Ministry of higher education of the USSR, Kuibyshev University
Cell polarity and cell adhesion in mammalian development and cancer.
Our laboratory studies the mechanisms and significance of cell polarity and cell adhesion in normal mammalian development and cancer. In addition, we have a significant interest in the mechanisms responsible for initiation and progression of human prostate cancer. We believe that it is important to study cells in their normal microenvironment. Thus, our major model system is mouse, and our primary approach is generation and characterization of genetically modified mice. While this approach takes a lot of time and consumes a significant part of our grant money, we believe that it provides us with information that is most relevant to understanding the critical causal events that are responsible for human diseases. Our secondary approach is to use cells in culture to model the phenotypes that we see in our mutant mice and dissect the molecular mechanisms responsible for these phenotypes. This combination of in vivo genetic and ex vivo cell biology approaches has enabled us to identify and analyze the causal events responsible for several cancer types and a variety of developmental disorders. In the course of these studies, we have uncovered novel mechanisms responsible for tumor initiation and metastasis in prostate and skin cancer. We also found the mechanisms responsible for the number of developmental disorders including periventricular heterotopia, hydrocephalus, lung emphysema, kidney cysts and placental malformations. These studies resulted in research papers in such journals as Science, Science Signaling, Cancer Cell, Dev Cell, Genes Dev, PNAS, J Cell Biol, Mol Cell Biol, J Cell Science and many others.
Presently, our laboratory is pursuing research in three major directions:
1. We are trying to understand how stem and progenitor cells use intercellular adhesion structures to obtain information about their cellular microenvironment and translate this information into critical decisions concerning cell proliferation, differentiation and programmed cell death.
2. We are studying the mechanisms responsible for asymmetric cell division of stem and progenitor cells that help to ensure both the maintenance of pluripotent stem cell population and normal cell differentiation.
3. We are studying the causal mechanisms responsible for initiation and progression of human prostate cancer.
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