14525097_10154947490263352_5069909018871925439_oPrincipal Investigator: Soledad Sosa, Ph.D. My undergraduate training consisted in the study of melanoma biology, in the laboratory of Osvaldo Podhajcer at the renowned Leloir Institute where I focused on the identification of novel melanoma signaling targets using proteomics. From this training phase I published a very complete story in Proteomics (Sosa MS, et al., Proteomics 2007). My Ph.D. training program was carried out at the University of Pennsylvania in a joint program with the University of Buenos Aires. This training was under the mentorship of Dr. Marcelo Kazanietz, a well-recognized scientist in cell signaling studies in prostate and breast cancer. During this time I focused on the study of P-Rex1, a Rac-GEF protein, and how this factor contributed to the malignancy of mammary tumor cells. We demonstrated that P-Rex1 was important for migration and tumor development of breast cancer cells (Sosa MS, et al., Mol. Cell 2010). In 2010, I joined Dr. Julio Aguirre-Ghiso laboratory and since then I have been working in understand how tumor cell dormancy was established once tumor cell disseminate to secondary organs. In this work I was able to link the orphan nuclear receptor NR2F1 to a novel function during tumor cell dormancy (Sosa Nat. Com 2015). I found that NR2F1 was required for malignant cells to undergo dormancy. This NR2F1-dependent dormancy program involved regulation of pluripotency and epigenome of disseminated tumor cells.

In 2012 I was awarded a DoD Breast Cancer Postdoctoral Grant to study the processes responsible for early dissemination and target organ colonization by breast tumor cells (Harper, Sosa MS,, Nature, 2016, Hosseini, et al., Nature 2016). In December 2016, I was promoted to Assistant Professor (investigator track) in the Department of Pharmacological Sciences at Mount Sinai. In 2016, as part of a collaboration team, we received a Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) team award to study tumor dormancy in melanoma. In 2017 I was awarded a K22-NCI-Transition Career Development Award to promote Diversity. The goal of this grant is to study the pluripotency and epigenome of disseminated tumor cells.

The Team: 

Alcina Rodrigues, lab technician (right). She did her MS in Biology in the University of Houston (2016) and her MS in Biochemistry in the University of Mumbai, India (2014). In 2016 she joined the laboratory of Dr. Martyn Matzuk as a research assistant in the Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. She joined the lab in May 2017 as a  lab manager.

Carolina Rodriguez Tirado, postdoctoral fellow (left).

Multi-Disciplinary Training Areas:

Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery program [PTD], Cancer Biology [CAB]