My research focus is on understanding the molecular basis of cancer using integrative genomic, epigenetic and proteomic approach. Our groups translational cancer research involves transferring the basic research discoveries to develop disease detection markers of developing therapy for the identified targets. I have worked extensively in the area of solid tumor genomics, biomarker discovery, biology, and therapeutic targeting.
Our group’s research helps better understand the molecular alterations during the initiation and progression of multiple human malignancies. We perform integrative analysis to identify the best targets and work towards developing agents/drugs for specific causative targets. We would like to develop multiple collaborations in order to hasten the pace of cancer research and discovery by team science approach. In order to enhance the cancer research/target discovery, we built a discovery platform called UALCAN (http://ualcan.path.uab.edu) for cancer genomic and proteomic data analysis, making cancer research a worldwide team effort. This portal has been visited over a "Million" times and cited over 3,500 times from researchers across the globe since its release in 2017. Some of the candidate therapeutic targets that I have identified include Histone Methyltransferase EZH2, AMACR, TPD52, MTA1, ERG gene fusion, SPINK1, CtBP1, RAF kinase gene fusions, GOLM1, GLYATL1 and JAGGED1 in prostate cancer, GATA3, AGTR1, EZH2, CCN6 (WISP3) in breast cancer and MTHFD1L, PAICS and PAK4 in bladder cancer among others. I have patents for targeting histone methyltransferase EZH2 and MMSET.
My research has resulted in prolific output of publications and currently I am part of over 145 published articles and many of them in high impact factor (IF), prestigious journals including Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, Cancer Cell, Cancer Discovery, Blood, PNAS, Cancer Research, Oncogene among others. Our research has been highly cited and our work has been cited by leading cancer researchers and biologists worldwide with over 41,500 citations with an h-Index of 72. I was part of the team that won the Inaugural American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science Award for this discovery in 2007.
I am actively involved in teaching and Co-Director of the Cancer Biology Theme of UAB-Graduate Biomedical Sciences (GBS). I also direct the GBS-728, Cancer Genomics, Epigenetics and Therapy, as the director of this course. This course is designed to educate the students on the basic and novel concepts to understand cancer. I also organize the Translational Research Group Meeting, a tri-Departmental interactive seminar series.