E50801 - Hematology and Oncology

Mentor:  Dr. Phillip Buckhaults, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1824 6th Avenue South, WTI 510D, Birmingham, AL 35294-3300. Telephone:  (205) 975-3960; Email: phillip.buckhaults@gmail.com

Lab Introduction: The Cancer Genetics Lab has recently relocated to The Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and we are actively recruiting talented, ambitious, smart, creative and motivated scientists to study genetic mechanisms that predispose African Americans to early-onset breast and colon cancer. If you are interested in genetics, genomics, epigenetics, stem cells, aging and cancer, send me an email at phillip.buckhaults@gmail.com, or stop by my office (WTI 510D) for an informal visit and scientific discussion.

Project Description: African Americans are diagnosed with breast and colon cancer at young ages more frequently than are European Americans, however, the reasons are not clear. Germline sequence variations in p53 pathway genes that are unequally distributed between people of African and European ancestry may influence the rate at which cancer-causing somatic mutations develop. We seek to functionally characterize single nucleotide polymorphisms in the TP53 and MDM2 genes, to determine how they may contribute to early-onset breast and colon cancer in African Americans. To characterize the unique somatic mutation landscapes of colon and breast cancers that develop from these different genetic backgrounds, our group uses next-gen sequencing approaches to identify novel germline variants that correlate with ethnic ancestry and age of diagnosis. To better understand the interplay between germline variants (SNPS) and cancer phenotype caused by somatic mutations, we use somatic cell knockout technology to create isogenic pairs of cell lines differing only in the polymorphic loci of interest and then biochemically and phenotypically characterize the resulting derivatives. The approach has lead to important discoveries about how a common germline variant in p53 (Pro72Arg) causes profound differences in cancer risk and longevity in humans, and points to novel therapeutic intervention strategies. Our project on African American cancer health disparities will further evaluate the germline and somatic mutation landscapes of breast and colon cancers, to uncover additional genetic differences that are associated with age of diagnosis, and functionally characterize variant alleles to establish their mechanisms of action.

UAB News

  • See some of guitar rock’s most respected artists Sept. 25 as they pay homage to Jimi Hendrix, one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time.See some of guitar rock’s most respected artists as they pay homage to one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time when the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center presents “Experience Hendrix” on Sept. 25. “Experience Hendrix” is set for 7 p.m. in UAB’s Alys Stephens...

  • The Honors College welcomed 375 incoming freshmen from 21 states and the U.K. The students’ average GPA is 41 and average ACT is 30.The University of Alabama at BirminghamHonors College welcomed its largest-ever incoming class of freshmen this week, 375 students from 21 states and the United Kingdom. Students arrived early to campus last week for an Honors Freshman Retreat to explore the city of Birmingham, complete community service projects, and get to know themselves and...

UAB Research News

  • “Decoding a Hindu Temple: Royalty and Religion in the Iconographic Program of the Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal” interprets the visual images and symbols of the temple.The first book by University of Alabama at Birmingham Associate Professor of Art History Cathleen Cummings, M.A., Ph.D., “Decoding a Hindu Temple: Royalty and Religion in the Iconographic Program of the Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal,” has been published. Cummings is a faculty member in the UAB Department of Art and Art History, part of...

  • UAB researchers are investigating game-based verification that may improve computer security and reduce user frustration compared to typical “type-what-you-see” CAPTCHA tools that use static images.CAPTCHA services that require users to recognize and type in static distorted characters may be a method of the past, according to studies published by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. CAPTCHAs represent a security mechanism that is often seen as a necessary hassle by Web services providers — necessary...