Office: Science Center #220
Lab: Science Center #225
My dissertation work was focused on understanding the role of the coactivator, ACTR in breast cancer proliferation. The desire to teach has always been a significant part of my motivation to pursue a higher education and a career in academia. My teaching interests and philosophy have been shaped through my experiences both as a student and as an instructor for several colleges and universities, including San Francisco State University, Dominican University and San Francisco City College. My role in the teaching is to facilitate and empower my students to learn. Teaching is not only for the students, but also a learning experience for myself, for I enjoy and greatly benefit from it. In 2005, I accepted a full-time tenure track position at Dominican University as an Assistant Professor because it offered me the opportunity to do the two things that I enjoy the most in my life (other than my family): to teach and to research. I hope to use my research as a tool for training my students to think critically and also to develop scientific theories.
My current research is focused on understanding the development of hormone refractory breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies that occur in women in the United States. Breast cancer results from the abnormal proliferation of the cells in the mammary gland. The normal growth of mammary gland epithelial cells is modulated by the circulating levels of estrogen, a hormone produced by the ovaries. The activity of estrogen is mediated by the estrogen receptor (ER) and thus serves as a key prognostic marker in breast cancer development. Breast cancer can exists as either estrogen responsive or estrogen non-responsive cancer. Majority of breast cancer initially develops as hormone dependent-cancer in which growth and progression of the cancer is modulated by the action of estrogen. Hormone responsive cancer is typically treated with hormone ablation therapy or endocrine therapy to block the ER. Although success has resulted from such treatments, the cancer often develops into a more aggressive, hormone independent phenotype. The mechanism of how hormone independence develops is not clear and my current research is focused on understanding the mechanism of how hormone-refractory breast cancer develops.