Prostate Expertise in Research For Overcoming Resistance and Mentoring (PERFORM)

Principal Investigator

Research Priority Area

  • Cancer

How to Join

If you are interested in the work, please email Dr. Vivek M. Rangnekar.

Summary

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the United States. Although the five-year survival for prostate cancer is high, about one-third of all patients experience relapse of the disease within three years, developing metastatic tumors in the bone, lung, and other tissues. Because there are currently no treatments to overcome the metastatic spread of prostate cancer disease, there is a critical need to discover new drugs or repurpose FDA-approved drugs to prevent or treat prostate cancer at all stages of development.

Funded by the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s Alliance Research Initiative, Prostate Expertise in Research For Overcoming Resistance and Mentoring (PERFORM) has gathered an interdisciplinary team of investigators to better understand prostate cancer progression and to develop bench-to-bedside strategies to target metastatic disease. While researching the genomic alterations associated with the disease, and conducting bench-to-bedside translation of promising compounds, PERFORM’s senior faculty will mentor their fellow team members to support them in research and funding strategies.

PERFORM involves a partnership of multiple basic science departments (toxicology and cancer biology, molecular and cellular biochemistry, biostatistics, bioinformatics) and clinical departments (radiation medicine, urology, internal medicine, pathology) in the College of Medicine; chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences; and pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy; various interdisciplinary centers; and the Kentucky Cancer Registry. All of PERFORM’s members are focused on prostate cancer research and/or treatment and bring unique backgrounds and experience to their shared work.

The principal investigator of PERFORM is Vivek M. Rangnekar, PhD, professor in the department of radiation medicine and associate director of Markey Cancer Center. Dr. Rangnekar has a broad background and over 28 years of experience in cancer research. He has previously participated not only in bench research, but also in clinical trials, and his cancer research and training projects have received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1991.

With the cooperation of the Markey Cancer Center and the Precision Medicine Clinic, PERFORM will secure research-grade testing of prostate tumors. The results will be used to develop methods to predict treatment resistance and identify the best matching treatments for prostate cancer patients. PERFORM also plans to offer a yearly workshop on enhancing the success of basic scientists and physician/surgeon-scientists, with the goal of increasing collaboration as well as the number of grants for prostate cancer research and treatment.

Alliance Members

  • Derek Allison, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Scott Berry, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Engineering
  • Therese Bocklage, MD, Professor – Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • April Bramel, College of Medicine – Senior Project Manager
  • Erin Burke, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Surgery
  • Luksana Chaiswing, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • Aman Chauhan, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Robert DiPaola, MD, Dean – College of Medicine
  • Eric Durbin, DrPH, Assistant Professor – Kentucky Cancer Registry
  • Riham El Khouli, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Radiology
  • Sally Ellingson, PhD, Assistant Professor – Kentucky Cancer Registry
  • Leigh Anne Faul, College of Medicine – Research Development Director
  • Edith Glazer, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Tadahide Izumi, PhD, Associate Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • Andrew James, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Urology
  • Jill Kolesar, PharmD, Professor – College of Pharmacy
  • Markos Leggas, PhD, Professor – College of Pharmacy
  • Xiaoqi Liu, PhD, Chair and Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • Zin Myint, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Kathleen O’Connor, PhD, Professor – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
  • Vivek M. Rangnekar, PhD, Professor – Department of Radiation Medicine
  • Daret St. Clair, PhD, Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • William St. Clair, MD, PhD, Professor – Department of Radiation Medicine
  • Stephen Strup, MD, Chair and Professor – Department of Urology
  • Ramon Sun, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
  • Chi Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Public Health
  • Peng Wang, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • David Watt, PhD, Professor – Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
  • Qiou Wei, PhD, Associate Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • Heidi Weiss, PhD, Professor – Department of Surgery
  • Donglin Yan, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Internal Medicine
  • Jin-Ming Yang, MD, PhD, Professor – Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
  • Chang-Guo Zhan, PhD, Professor – College of Pharmacy
  • Shulin Zhang, MD, PhD, Professor – Department of  Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
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