Poulikos Poulikakos, PhD
Dr. Poulikos I. Poulikakos is a biochemist and a cancer biologist whose research is focused on regulation of oncogenic signaling and tumor sensitivity and resistance to targeted cancer therapeutics. He completed his doctoral studies in Athens, Greece and he then moved for postdoctoral training first to Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and subsequently to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York. During the course of that work, he brought to light hitherto underappreciated aspects of kinase regulation, controlled by conformational switch and dimerization, as well as novel mechanisms of resistance to drugs targeting MAPK signaling (BRAF and MEK inhibitors) in melanoma and other cancers. He subsequently developed a mechanistic model that explains and predicts the biochemical effects of diverse inhibitors based on their structural properties, thus enabling the use of specific inhibitors tailored for clinical contexts.
The long-term goal of his research group is to improve our understanding on the role of signal transduction networks in tumor resistance to targeted therapies and in tumor immunity, to help the design of more effective cancer therapies. The research program of his laboratory is focused on several important areas. They investigate oncogenic signaling by studying the effects of blocking the network at various points (RTK, SHP2, RAF, MEK, ERK, CDK4/6) on signaling and they are developing strategies to overcome adaptive and acquired resistance to these drugs, a major limitation in current therapeutic approaches to cancer. Secondly, they investigate the effect of targeted cancer therapies on immune signaling and on tumor immunity, with the goal of developing more effective integrated therapeutic strategies. Finally, they investigate novel approaches to target oncogenic signaling more broadly, using alternative pharmacologic approaches and next generation proteasome-targeted technologies.
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Biochemistry, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cell Biology, Cell Cycle, Dermatology, Drug Design and Discovery, Drug Resistance, Phosphorylation, Protein Kinases, Signal Transduction, Translational Research, Tumor Suppressor Genes