Dr. Annelise Nguyen

Department: Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology
Departmental website
feature story in JCRC's 2013 Conquest magazine
feature story in JCRC's 2016 Conquest magazine

“Breast cancer tumor growth initially depends on estrogen, and patients respond positively to therapy reducing estrogen levels. However, estrogen-independent cells aggressively emerge, eventually making the cancer estrogen-independent. Progress in understanding the origin of this disease and developing therapies has been slow due to the multiple genetic changes that can occur. Better therapies can be obtained by combining anti-cancer drugs directed against one or more of these altered mechanisms. We study one of the alterations--a defect in, or loss of, intercellular communication. We focus particularly on the gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) that occurs during cancer formation. Increasing gap junction activity, or enhancing GJIC, in cancer cells could enhance chemotherapies.”