The Cutaneous Malignancies Unit investigates the mechanisms and processes underlying skin cancers such as Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM), and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Our group studies the development and progression of MCC, ALM, and SCC in human tissue, human cell cultures, and mouse models. We integrate advanced microscopy, oncogenic and pharmacological techniques to gain insight into these diseases to find effective treatments that will increase the life and health of patients who have skin cancer. Our work focuses on identifying new compounds and repurposing approved drugs to treat cutaneous malignancies. Additionally, we are investigating how cytoskeletal elements modify extrinsic apoptotic signaling in skin cancer models.