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Dr. Stephen Safe Lab

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and has a great impact on public health. Dr. Safe’s laboratory studies cellular and molecular oncology.  The studies are  focused on developing new mechanism based anticancer agents that target the Ah receptor, the nuclear receptors NR4A1, NR4A2 and NR4A3 and the Sp transcription factors. Research is also focused on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and their functions and on the roles of the Ah and NR4A receptors in mediating ligand-induced responses in non-tumor tissues.

Our lab has characterized the role of several long non-coding RNAs in cancer development, including HOTTIP, HOTAIR in pancreatic cancer and those lncRNAs could be potential serum biomarkers and therapeutic targets. We also discovered the role of specificity protein transcription factors in cancer cells as non-oncogene addiction genes. In addition, we also identified the anticancer activity and its underlying mechanism of various small molecule compounds, such as sulindac sulfide, metformin, omeprazole, diindolylmethane analogs, phenethylisothiocyanate.