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Project Investigator Biography

Susan Kane, Ph.D. Susan Kane, Ph.D.

City of Hopee
City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute, Division of Tumor Cell Biology
1500 E. Duarte Road,
Duarte, CA 91010
phone: (626) 301-8321
fax: (626) 301-8194
email: skane@coh.org

Dr. Susan Kane is a faculty member in City of Hopeís (COH) Graduate School of Biological Sciences. She teaches and trains graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and mentors high school and college students through a 10-week summer internship program. She is also a professor in the division of Tumor Cell Biology and has also served as a department chair, associate director of research, and senior VP of academics at COH. She co-directs the CSULA-COH Cancer Collaborative along with Dr. Jamil Momand at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA).

Dr. Kaneís laboratory studies mechanisms of drug resistance in cancer. The development of drug resistance remains one of the most serious impediments to effective, curative chemotherapy in cancer patients. Resistance develops from a cancer cell's natural response to anticancer drugs. By understanding these cellular responses, researchers can learn more about the mechanism of action of specific drugs and about why certain treatments fail in certain people. Ultimately, she seeks to design more effective therapeutics and treatment protocols and develop customized therapies based on an individual patientís likelihood of response. Dr. Kane envisions a day when therapy can be targeted to that phenotype based on the presence of distinct molecular markers and determinants of specific therapeutic response. Current projects in the lab include a cell-based model that explores the molecular basis of resistance to a breast cancer drug called Herceptin (trastuzumab), with possible identification of a new target for customized therapy, and an animal model that uses bioluminescence imaging technology to study the mechanism by which drug resistance genes are regulated in vivo.

The CSULA-COH Cancer Collaborative has been funded through the Minority Institution/Cancer Center Partnership program since 2006. The overarching goals of the CSULA-COH Cancer Collaborative are: 1) to increase the participation and capacity of minority students and minority faculty in cancer research, especially as it relates to cancer disparities among minority populations; and 2) to increase our understanding, at the molecular, behavioral, and psychosocial levels, of cancer disparities among minority populations. Dr. Kane and her colleagues are working to accomplish these goals through two complementary components of the Cancer Collaborative: 1) a cancer research component that funds collaborative pilot projects focused on understanding the underlying causes of and potential interventions for preventing minority disparities in cancer; this component also helps increase the capacity of junior faculty to engage in high-level, fundable research related to minority cancer disparities; and 2) a cancer training component that trains minority undergraduate and masterís-level students to conduct laboratory-based cancer research and become more competitive for admission into doctoral programs related to cancer research.

Dr. Kane graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Biology and from Johns Hopkins University with a Ph.D. in Biology. She completed postdoctoral studies at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. She has had her own research laboratory at COH, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and research institute, since 1990.

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Other Project Investigator
Jamil Momand, Ph.D.
Updated: 04/30/12