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Su Lab

Gloria Su, PhD and her laboratory study the molecular genetics of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, as well as mouse modeling needed for both cancer types. HNSCC and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma are both results of accumulated genetic alterations. Both cancer types share some common oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes (e.g. p16 and p53), but each has its unique targeted mutations (e.g. Cyclin D1 for HNSCC and K-ras for pancreatic cancer). We continue to compare and contrast the molecular genetic profiles of these two cancer types using both broad genome-scanning approach and candidate-gene approach. By establishing the cancer genetic profiles, we hope to reveal new prognostic markers, discover tumor marker for early detection analysis, and develop chemopreventive and therapeutic treatments that target tumor-specific pathways.

Dr. Su’s laboratory has developed multiple genetically-engineered mouse models that recapitulate human pancreatic cancer at both genetic and histologic levels. Using these genetically-engineered mouse models, Dr. Su’s team is interrogating the biology of tumor development, progression, and metastasis. Notably, her team has reported that the loss of the wild-type KRAS is associated with pancreatic cancer metastasis in mice and in humans. They have also demonstrated that the inactivation of different tumor-suppressor genes following Kras activation may influence the dichotomy of PanIN and IPMN (pancreatic precancerous lesions) development and progression. Specifically, the inactivation of the activin signaling preferentially promotes the development of IPMN. In addition to mouse modeling, Dr. Su and her team have contributed to our understanding of the cancer genetics of human IPMN and recently shown that the dysregulation of the PI3K-PTEN signaling pathway is associated with poor prognosis among IPMN patients.

Principal Investigator

  • Gloria Su, PhD
    Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology (in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center)

Lab Members

  • Wanglong Qiu, MD, PhD
    Associate Research Scientist
  • Chunhua Xie, MD
    Graduate Student
  • Yeran Yang, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Michael Chun, BA
    Medical Student

Selected Publications

  • S. Dodhia, K. Celis, A. Aylward, Y. Cai, M. E. Fontana, A. Trespalacio, D. C. Hoffman, H. O. Alfonso, S. B. Eisig, G. H. Su, W. K. Chung, J. Haddad Jr. ACSS2 gene variant associated with cleft lip and palate in two independent Hispanic populations. Laryngoscope 2017; 127 (10):E336-339 (Epub 2017, May 23).
  • Y. Cai, S. Dodhia, G. H. Su. Dysregulations in the PI3K pathway and targeted therapies for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oncotarget 2017 (Epub 2017, January 18)
  • Y. Cai, V.S. Merea, A. H. Lee, G. H. Su, S. M. Caruana. Nasopharyngeal papillomas treated with CO2 laser and human papillomavirus vaccination. Laryngoscope 2017; 127(10):2279-2281 (Epub 2017, April 13).
  • D. García-Carracedo, M. Ángeles Villaronga, S. Álvarez-Teijeiro, F. Hermida-Prado, I. Santamaría, E. Allonca, L. Suárez-Fernández, M. Victoria Gonzalez, M. Balbín, A. Astudillo, P. Martínez-Camblor, G. H. Su, J. Pablo Rodrigo, J. María García-Pedrero. Impact of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway activation on the prognosis of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Oncotarget 2016; 7(20):29780-93.
  • W. Qiu, G. Tong, A. T. Turk, L. G. Close, S. M. Caruana, G. H. Su. Oncogenic PIK3CA is overexpressed and mutated in salivary duct carcinoma. BioMed Research International 2014; 810487. doi: 10.1155/2014/810487. (Epub Jan 8, 2014). PMID: 24511546
  • C. J. Lennon, A. C. Birkeland, J. A. Pacheco Nunez, G. H. Su, P. Lanzano, E. Guzman, K. Celis, S. B. Eisig, D. Hoffman, M. T. Guerra Rendon, H. Ostos, W. K. Chung, J. Haddad, Jr. Association of candidate genes with nonsyndromic clefts in Honduran and Colombian populations. Laryngoscope 2012, 122:2082-7 (Epub July 2, 2012). PMID: 22753311
  • Y. C. Larrabee, A. C. Birkeland, D. T. Kent, C. Flores, G. H. Su, J. H. Lee, J. Haddad. Association of common variants, not rare mutations, in IRF6 with non-syndromic clefts in a Honduran population. Laryngoscope 2011, 121:1756-9 PMID: 21792966
  • A. C. Birkeland, Y. Larrabee, D. T. Kent, C. Flores, G. H. Su, J. H. Lee, J. Haddad. Novel IRF6 mutations in Honduran Van Der Woude syndrome patients. Mol Med Report 2011, 4(2):237-41 (Epub 2011, Jan 11) PMID: 21468557
  • D. J. Lee, F. Schönleben, V. E. Banuchi, W. Qiu, L. G. Close, A. M. Assaad, G. H. Su. Multiple tumor-suppressor genes on chromosome 3p contribute to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tumorigenesis. Cancer Biology & Therapy 2010, 10(7):1-5. PMID: 20657180
  • K. C. Bruckman, F. Schönleben, W. Qiu, V. L. Woo, G. H. Su. Mutational frequency of the PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF genes in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology 2010, 110(5):632-7 (Epub 2010 Sept 1). PMID: 20813562
  • G. R. Diercks, T. T. Karnezis, D. T. Kent, C. Flores, G. H. Su, J. H. Lee, J. Haddad Jr. The association between interferon regulatory factor 6 (IRF6) and nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate in a Honduran population. Laryngoscope 2009, 119(9):1759-64. PMID: 19536891
  • V. Vinarsky, R. L. Fine, A. Assaad, Y. Qian, J. A. Chabot, G. H. Su, H. Frucht. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in FAMMM syndrome. Head and Neck 2009, 31(11):1524-27. PMID: 19360740
  • W. Qiu, G.-X. Tong, S. Manolidis, L. G. Close, A. M. Assaad, G. H. Su. Novel mutant-enriched sequencing identified high frequency of PIK3CA mutations in pharyngeal cancer. International Journal of Cancer 2008, 122:1189-94 (Epub 2007 Nov 7). PMID: 1799031
  • W. Qiu, F. Schönleben, X. Li, G. H. Su. Disruption of Transforming Growth Factor β–Smad signaling pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma as evidenced by mutations of SMAD2 and SMAD4. Cancer Letters 2007 Jan 8; 245(1-2):163-70. Epub 2006 Feb 14. PMID: 16478646
  • W. Qiu, F. Schönleben, X. Li, D. J. Ho, L. G. Close, S. Manolidis, B. P. Bennett, G. H. Su. PIK3CA mutations in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Clinical Cancer Research 2006, 12:1441-6. PMID: 16533766
  • W. Qiu, F. Schönleben, H. M. Thaker, M. Goggins, G. H. Su. A novel mutation of STK11/LKB1 gene leads to the loss of cell growth inhibition in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oncogene 2006, 25:2937-42. PMID: 16407837

View a full list of Dr. Su's publications