Navari Family Scholar and Showalter Scholar at IUSM, Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology IUSM-SB, Interim Senior Associate Director HCRI
Robert Stahelin’s laboratory aims to advance understanding of how the mechanisms of lipid signaling are controlled in different types of cancers. His laboratory uses an interdisciplinary research approach focused on biological membranes as signaling and trafficking platforms for processes fundamental to life. These membranes composed mainly of lipids hold the key to cell division, growth, and metabolism necessary for cancer cell growth and metastasis. Thus, there is a need to comprehensively understand molecular events occurring within and on membranes as a means of grasping disease etiology and identifying viable targets for drug development. Currently, the cancer foci of the lab are lung and pancreatic cancers.
Briefly, the Stahelin lab is investigating:
1. Discovery of New Drugs. The integration of computational biology, bioinformatics, structural biology, biochemistry, biophysics, and cell biology will aid in discovering new lipid binding proteins in the cancer genome.
2. Sphingolipid signaling. The Stahelin lab has discovered a number of proteins regulated by ceramide-1-phosphate. Investigation of the role of these signaling interactions in lung cancer is under investigation.
3. Lipid-Mediated Regulation of Inflammatory Enzymes. The role of inflammation in tumor growth and metastasis is the basis of these studies.