Allen-Petersen Lab

mouse models of pancreatic cancer
The Allen-Petersen Lab aims to understand the impact of phosphatase deregulation on pancreatic tumor initiation and progression. Phosphatases provide a critical balance to kinase signaling in order to maintain normal cell function. In cancer, several mechanisms have been identified that lead to the inhibition of phosphatase activity. However, the consequence of this inhibition on cancer cell phenotypes is not fully understood. Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a heterotrimeric serine/threonine phosphatase that negatively regulates several key oncogenic pathways identified in pancreatic cancer. Our research focuses on identifying the molecular and epigenetic pathways that are impacted with the loss of specific PP2A subunits, and therapeutic potential of PP2A activating compounds.

To this end, the Allen-Petersen Lab uses mouse models of pancreatic cancer, three-dimensional cell culture systems, and molecular- and cellular biology techniques to explore these fundamental and translational questions.