Stephen P. Ethier, PhD
Advanced Education: 1982, PhD, University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, TN
Postdoctoral Training: 1982 - 1984: Fellowship, Chemical Carcinogenesis
The Michigan Cancer Foundation, Lathrup Village, MI
Primary Specialty: Breast Cancer
Cancer Genetics/Genomics and Molecular Regulation
The goals of the Ethier lab are to understand the genetic basis for the development and progression of human breast cancer and to understand how specific genetic alterations contribute to specific aspects of the transformed phenotype. For many years, the Ethier lab has worked to understand the nature of the altered signaling pathways activated by the HER-2 oncoprotein and by the epidermal growth factor receptor when it is over expressed in breast cancer cells. More recently, the lab has developed a focus on discovering novel oncogenes in human breast cancer by investigating specific genomic regions that are commonly increased in copy number in breast cancer. Current studies are centered on the 8p11 region of the genome, which is amplified in approximately 25% of all breast cancers. To date, three novel breast cancer oncogenes have been mapped to this region. The Ethier lab is using state-of-the-science bioinformatics methodologies to better understand the mechanistic basis for the transforming properties of newly discovered breast cancer oncogenes. More recently, the Ethier lab has expanded its focus to genome wide studies of breast and other cancers. Genome wide sequencing and screening platforms are being used to distinguish novel oncogenes from passenger genes, and to identify novel oncogenomic targets. These screening strategies are also being used to identify synthetic lethal interactions between genef1clgenomic factors •m cancer cells to lay the ground work for therapeutic strategies using multiple targeted drugs.