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Dr. Hartsough's work is focused on understanding the mechanisms contributing to metastatic progression and susceptibility of cancers to targeted inhibitors. In particular, the lab utilizes melanoma as a model system to investigate the following:

  • We are interested in exploring the tumor suppressive functions of CADM1 in regulating melanoma invasion, anchorage-independent cell death, and costimulation of immune-mediated cytotoxic responses. These studies may highlight CADM1 as a diagnostic indicator for prognosis and could open new therapeutic avenues to combat melanoma metastasis.
  • Mutations in the RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathway are drivers in many forms of human malignancies. In particular, the serine/threonine kinase BRAF is mutated in ~8% of all cancers. Targeted inhibitors have been designed to block aberrant BRAF; however due to differences in cellular signaling, efficacy of these drugs are limited to a subset of mutant BRAF tumors. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms governing the varied responses to inhibitor treatment.

Time-lapse imagery of melanoma spheroid invading into collagen - animated. (Hartsough Lab Research)
Time-lapse imagery of melanoma spheroid invading into collagen.

Learn More About Our Research

Hartsough Lab Staff

Julia Oleksak, Hartsough Lab

Julia Oleksak, Master’s Candidate

Research Interests:

  • Role of CADM1 in reducing viability of melanoma circulating tumor cells
  • Understanding CADM1 directed non-adherent cell death mechanisms including parthanatos, pyroptosis, and necroptosis
  • Pharmacologically augment CADM1 death effect
Maria Cavallo, Hartsough Lab

Maria Cavallo, PhD Student

Research Interests:

  • BRAF inhibitor-induced immunogenic cell death in melanoma brain metastases
  • The role of CNS phagocytes in melanoma brain metastases
  • Drug resistance and relapse in melanoma

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Edward J. Hartsough, PhD

Edward J. Hartsough, PhD
Associate Professor