Florida Atlantic University
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My research focuses on finding marine natural products that have the potential to be novel therapeutics against pancreatic cancer, novel drugs that target components of the immune system that link inflammation and pancreatic cancer development or novel tools to help us further our understanding of this dreaded disease. Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer lethality in the United States. Patients diagnosed have a survival rate of 26% one year after diagnosis and less than 8% five years after diagnosis, highlighting the urgent need for new therapies to treat this disease. My work at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has resulted in the discovery of novel anti-metastatic properties and inhibition of autophagy for manzamine A; the inhibition of topoisomerase II by isobatzelline E; the anti-mitotic effects of aphrocallistin and its derivatives, the inhibition of NFκB by spongiatriol and microsclerodermin A, and the development of assays to detect compounds that target important signaling pathways that are aberrant in pancreatic cancer. This work has resulted in 18 publications and 3 patents.