Dr. Aaronson's laboratory focuses on cancer gene discovery and function with emphasis on signaling pathways of growth factors including Wnts, PDGF, KGF (FGF-7), and HGF/scatter factor. His laboratory recently identified autocrine Wnt activation in human tumor cells of several tissue types and is studying the relationship of such tumors to stem/progenitor cells of the same tissues in which Wnt signaling helps to maintain the stem/progenitor phenotype. He is also investigating replicative senescence or permanent growth arrest, which appears to be a cell death program distinct from apoptosis, and which must be overcome to attain the immortalization of tumor cells.His laboratory recently uncovered a novel role of p53 in innate antiviral immunity, increasing the diversity of p53 functions that serve to facilitate host pro-survival mechanisms. The laboratory applies cDNA cloning technology and other functional genomic strategies to discover novel targets for cancer intervention.
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