Joaquín Espinosa investigates the p53 tumor-suppressor gene network, with the goal of designing novel therapeutic strategies for selective elimination of cancer cells.
Functional Genomic Analysis of the p53 Network
We are using genetic screens in human cells using short hairpin RNA (shRNA) libraries to identify signaling pathways that control the cellular outcome upon p53 activation. Eventually, these pathways could be modulated to enhance the efficacy of p53-based cancer therapeutics. EXROP projects would involve the use of shRNAs to inactivate components of these signaling pathways and monitor effects on the cellular outcome to p53 activation. The techniques involved include mammalian tissue culture, RNAi technology, molecular cloning techniques as well as various assays to monitor cell behavior such as apoptosis assays, cell cycle arrest assays, DNA synthesis assays, and tumor sphere growth assays.