Defining the role of autophagy in skin biology and SCC tumorigenesis

Autophagy controls the degradation and recycling of unwanted or damaged intracellular materials. There is tremendous interest in modulating autophagy as a potential therapeutic modality, particularly in the treatment of cancer. However, there is considerable controversy about the precise role of autophagy in tumorigenesis.

We have generated a skin specific deletion of a core autophagy protein and are testing the effects of autophagy deficiency on Ras-mediated tumorigenesis.

We are also exploring the effects of autophagy on normal skin homeostasis.