The Keri laboratory focuses on the identification of mechanisms that control mammary gland morphogenesis and the misappropriation of developmental pathways in breast cancer initiation and progression. We are particularly interested in identifying transcriptional and signaling pathways that control these processes with the ultimate goal of discovering useful therapeutic targets for the diverse subtypes of breast cancer.
Current work in the laboratory centers on the modulation of cell fates by epigenetic modifiers, transcription factors, growth factor receptors, and their signaling pathways. We utilize publicly available genomic data from breast cancer samples and cell lines to identify candidate genes/proteins/pathways that may control cell fates and then assess their functional impact and mechanisms of action using genetic and pharmacologic tools, in vitro and in vivo. Our studies utilize cellular, molecular, and genomic approaches and use breast cancer specimens, patient-derived xenograft (“avatar”) models, genetically engineered mice, and cell lines.
The laboratory has supported numerous undergraduate, predoctoral, and postdoctoral fellows and these individuals have gone on to develop careers as faculty in academic medical centers and small colleges, as researchers and medical science liaisons in pharmaceutical companies, as well as becoming professionals in science writing and patent law.