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.