Dr. Phillip E. Klebba
Iron is an essential nutrient that facilitates cell proliferation and growth. Our research focuses on the importance of iron in pathological or pathogenic conditions. Cancer is an example, in that iron contributes to tumor initiation, growth, metastasis and the tumor microenvironment. Iron metabolism is central to tumor cell survival, and we are researching approaches to block tumor growth by impairing the iron acquisition pathways utilized by cancer cells. Targeting iron metabolic pathways may provide new tools for cancer prognosis and therapy. Additionally, cancer patients often show heightened susceptibility to microbial infections, and our research seeks to understand the mechanisms of bacterial iron acquisition, inhibit them, and thereby protect cancer patients from bacterial pathogenesis.