Pathology Graduate Training Program
Cellular and Molecular Pathology (CMP) -
Alumni

Name: Katherine D'Antonio
Email: kbright2@jhmi.edu

Education:
Undergraduate Degree: BS
Undergraduate Degree Year: 2002
Undergraduate Institution: Gettysburg College
Undergraduate Major: Biology

Academic Status: 5th year

Graduate Program: Experimental Pathology

Thesis Advisor: Robert Getzenberg, Ph. D.

Thesis Title/Research Topic: Characterization of Novel Targets in Prostate Cancer

Current Research Description: My current project is focused on advancing our understanding of expression changes associated with the development of prostate cancer. In particular, I am interested in characterizing the expression of cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61 (Cyr61) in the prostate and evaluating the role this protein may play in prostate cancer. The CCN family of extracellular matrix associated proteins, of which Cyr61 is a member, consistently exhibits altered expression in genomic studies of various cancers. These expression changes have been linked with, depending on the type of cancer, either enhanced or inhibited tumor growth. Cyr61 is an integrin binding matricellular protein whose expression has been reported to be altered in many types of cancer including breast, ovarian, hepatocellular, lung, and colorectal cancer. Our understanding of the role played by Cyr61 in cell signaling is very limited but appears to be context and cell type dependent. In genomic analysis of prostate cancer, we observe up-regulation of Cyr61 expression in cancer and adjacent to tumor (NAT) tissues in comparison to prostate donor tissues. Tissue microarray studies of matched tumor and NAT tissues demonstrate that Cyr61 protein expression is significantly up-regulated in cancer compared to NAT and also that increased Cyr61 expression correlates with a more advanced phenotype. We will evaluate the role of Cyr61 in prostate cancer through functional analysis in culture models, assessing the impact of Cyr61 on proliferation, migration, and invasion. .

Honors:

Graduate Honors:

Travel award for the 7th World Congress on Urologic Research, the Joint SUO/SBUR meeting, Dublin, 2007

Publications:

Expression of the Extracellular Matrix Associated Protein Cyr61 is Linked with the Development of Prostate Cancer, American Journal of Pathology (in review)

Abstract:

Characterization of the expression and role of the Extracellular Matrix Associated Protein Cyr61 in the Development of Prostate Cancer, 2008