Nicholas Cacalano, Ph.D.
Research performed at: UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Specialty/Research Area: General Cancer, Signal Transduction
Dr. Cacalano is Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA. He is also a member of the JCCC signal transduction
and Therapeutics Program Area, where he heads a research laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in 1991 from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (New York, N.Y.). He did postdoctoral work at DNA
X Research Institute from 1996–2001. His research focuses on the basic mechanisms of signal transduction
and its role in the growth of cancer cells.
Year STOP CANCER Award was received:
Description of research performed:
Dr. Cacalano's research into signal transduction
seeks to understand how normal signaling
between substances and cells becomes corrupted in cancer, as well as how knowledge of signaling
pathways can be exploited to assess resistance to radiation treatment and identify targets for molecular therapies.
Results of research:
Dr. Cacalano's laboratory team has identified the role of Suppressor of Cytokine signaling
, and in particular the biomarker
s known as SOSC1 and SOCS3, in determining the extent of DNA
damage response to radiation therapy. The researchers have been able to identify factors that can make normal and tumor cells resistant or susceptible to radiation.