Felipe Samaniego

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, USA

Felipe Samaniego received his Medical degree from Harvard University Medical School, Boston, Mass, USA in 1983. He specialized in medical oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA (1989). Since 2006, he has been an Associate Professor at the Department of Immunology, The University of Texas and worked at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex, USA. He served as the Director of the Clinical Research Conference, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex, USA since 2005. In addition, he is the Editor of the American Journal of Oncology Review, since 2003, and the Organizer of the MDACC-CNIO-MDA International Espana, Advances in Targeted Therapy in Lymphoproliferative Disorders, Madrid, Spain (2007). Numerous trainees from the Samaniego lab now hold academic positions at several universities. A postdoctural trainee received, for work performed in this lab, the single American Association of Cancer Research-Medimmune Fellowship for Research on Biological-Based Therapies for Cancer. The Samaniego lab is focus on how to enhance tumor cell suicide. Many hematopoietic cancers express nonmutated suicide receptors, and the levels of suicide receptors can be raised to re-establish apoptosis. Also, cancers that have nonactivatable suicide receptors are resistant to chemotherapy and can become sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy after this suicide receptor signaling is re-established. We have identified from chemotherapy resistant cells a Fas inhibitor, CD74. Other inhibitors have been identified by their association with activation-resistant Fas. CD74 binds and block Fas in cells and in mice. We hypothesize that neutralization of inhibitors of Fas will facilitate signaling and improve therapy for hematopoietic cancers. By elucidating the mechanism by which CD74 and other inhibitors interact with suicide receptor signaling proteins to regulate apoptosis, we will lay the groundwork for therapeutic peptides and peptidomimetic drugs that enhance cancer cell apoptosis.

Biography Updated on 20 July 2009

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