The Mulvaney Lab's overarching research interests are to examine cellular signaling pathways and how changes in these pathways contribute to cancer with the goal of translating these findings into meaningful clinical improvements for patient care. Led by Kathleen Mulvaney, Ph.D., the lab's research program includes both understanding basic mechanisms of protein signaling pathways as well as performing experiments toward translational therapeutic development. Some enzymes show altered gene expression or activity in cancer or become a genetic requirement/dependency that the tumor relies on for survival. Therefore, Dr. Mulvaney and her team are interested in discovering and characterizing these novel genetic dependencies in cancer with a focus on enzymes, such as methyltransferases. One dependency of interest is PRMT5, an arginine methyltransferase enzyme that is a gene that many tumors rely on for survival, including pancreatic cancer and pediatric and adult brain cancers.
Other projects in the lab are studying efflux transporters and identification of new cancer dependencies. To do so, we use CRISPR screening and proteomics, followed by traditional cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology techniques.