Dr. Grabowska is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at Case Western Reserve University, with secondary appointments in Biochemistry and Pharmacology. Research in her laboratory is focused on understanding molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer progression and therapeutic resistance.
The Grabowska laboratory has two major research focuses. The first research focus is evaluating how transcription factors, which bind to DNA and determine what genes are turned on or off, regulate prostate cancer. We are interested in how a specific transcription factor family, the Nuclear Factor I (NFI) family, interacts with androgen receptor, and how this interaction changes in response to prostate cancer therapy and progression to castration-resistance. Androgen receptor is the target of androgen deprivation therapy and the major therapeutic target in prostate cancer. Therefore, understanding how androgen receptor activity is regulated is critical for determining how patients fail androgen deprivation therapy. We are also interested in the androgen-independent roles of NFI family members, and how these can contribute to androgen receptor-independent prostate cancers.
The other focus in the laboratory is defining drivers of therapeutic resistance in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Through a short hairpin RNA screen, we have identified a series of genes that drive resistance to the anti-androgen enzalutamide in vitro. Our current studies focus on understanding how these genes exert this effect. The overall goal of our research projects is to translate our basic science research into better outcomes for prostate cancer patients.