Research Professor and Associate Director, W.M. Keck Center For Transgene Research
University of Notre Dame
Frank Castellino and Victoria Ploplis of the W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research are using in vitro and in vivo approaches to study the mechanisms by which components of the hemostasis system regulate the initiation and progression of a number of diseases, e.g., bacterial infection, SARS-Cov2 infection, and cancer. Inflammation is a component of these diseases and it has been demonstrated that there is crosstalk between hemostasis and inflammation. For our in vivo studies, mice with genetic mutations and deficiencies of hemostasis genes have been introduced in the mouse genome and Keck Center researchers are determining the effects these alterations have on disease initiation and progression. Initial studies at the Keck Center have identified urokinase as a major participant in the early stages of tumor development. Studies of the anticoagulant Protein C pathway, have demonstrated that this system may serve as a new therapeutic target for arresting not only ulcerative colitis but also the incidence of colorectal cancer.