Barbara Wegiel, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
DF/HCC Program AffiliationProstate CancerCancer Immunology
A major interest of our laboratory is the role of heme degradation enzymes: heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and biliverdin reductase (BVR) in inflammation and tumor biology. We have demonstrated that HO-1 and its product carbon monoxide (CO) are critical regulators of DNA repair pathway (PNAS, 2011) as well as myeloid cell maturation (CDD, 2014). CO at low non-toxic doses blocks tumor growth and accelerates responses to current chemotherapy (Can Res, 2013). Further, we have uncovered novel properties of BVR to act as a signaling molecule and mediate anti-inflammatory effects of biliverdin in myeloid cells (JBC, 2009; PNAS 2011). We continue to explore a role of BVR and HO-1 using our newly generated BVR and HO-1 conditional knockout mice as well as transgenic models of carcinogenesis.
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