Career Summary: Dr. McEachron is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Translational genomics in the Keck School of Medicine at USC. He earned his PhD in Molecular and Cellular pathology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied the breast cancer associated thrombosis. Dr. McEachron went on to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Developmental Neurobiology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital studying pediatric brain tumors. Interested in exploring the clinical utility of next-generation sequencing technologies, Dr. McEachron undertook additional postdoctoral training in the Division of Integrated Cancer genomics at the Translational Research Institute. There, he focused on using next-generation sequencing technologies to profile recurrent, refractory, and/or relapsed pediatric cancer patients for clinical decision making. Dr. McEachron completed his postdoctoral training in April 2016 and shortly thereafter joined the faculty of USC.
Year STOP CANCER Award was received: 2017 STOP CANCER Member Seed Grant
Description of research performed: Dr. McEachron is specifically interested in childhood and adolescent/young adult sarcomas. Non-coding RNA’s are unlike messenger RNA’s in that they do not code for a protein, thereby defying the central dogma of biology (DNARNAProtein). However, these non-coding RNA molecules can control whether a given gene is turned on (expressed) or turned off (repressed) and their presence correlates with a variety of cancer-related processes such as metastasis and treatment resistance in other malignancies. This seed grant will be used to study the role and clinical significance (prognostic and/or therapeutic) of non-coding RNA molecules in Ewing sarcoma cell lines, xenograft models, and patient samples.
Results of research: Using RNA-sequencing, Dr. McEachron has identified a list of non-coding RNA molecules that are consistently highly expressed in Ewing sarcoma cell lines, xenograft models, and patient samples. The functional and clinical relevance of these selected RNA molecules is still under investigation in the McEachron laboratory.