Ross L. Cagan, PhD, is Professor of the Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Associate Dean for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Disease Models and Mechanisms and co-founder and Boar Member of Medros Inc.
Dr. Cagan’s laboratory focuses on the use of Drosophila to address disease mechanisms and therapeutics, primarily for cancer and diabetes. In cancer, their work helped validate vandetanib as a therapeutic for Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma, combined Drosophila genetics and medicinal chemistry to develop a new generation of lead compounds that emphasize “balanced polypharmacology”, and identified novel mechanisms that direct transformed cells into the first steps towards metastasis. Regarding diabetes, his laboratory has identified mechanisms that direct diabetic cardiomyopathy and nephropathy as well as a new network through which diabetic patients are at heightened risk for aggressive tumors.
Combining these basic research approaches, Dr. Cagan has established the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics, in which new tools including ‘personalized Drosophila avatars’ are developed and used to screen for personalized drug cocktails. Working with co-directors Marshall Posner and Eric Schadt, the CPCT is designed to identify drug combinations that best address the tumor’s complexities. For more information, please visit the Cagan Laboratory website.