ChBE Seminar Series: Kimberly Jackson, Spelman College
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
Licorice Constituent and Androgen Receptor Modulation in Prostate Cancer Therapy
The androgen receptor (AR) plays a critical role in growth and progression of prostate cancer. The AR mediates the response to androgens (hormones) such as dihydrotestosterone. Prostate cancer is initially responsive to therapies that inhibit AR signaling, but the disease eventually progresses to an androgen-independent or refractory state. Understanding and modulating AR function is likely to be an effective way to develop new treatment modalities. Dietary dibenzoylmethane (DBM), a beta-diketone derived from natural sources and a constituent of sunscreen has been reported to inhibit growth of mammary, lymphomas, leukemias, skin tumors in rodents and human prostate cancer cells. My laboratory was the first to show that DBM inhibits the proliferation of prostate cancer cells in vitro in conjunction with an accumulation of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and suppression of AR protein expression. There is evidence to suggest that progression of prostate cancer to metastatic or advanced disease may occur by alterations in interactions between the AR and its coactivators. Preliminary confocal studies looking at the co-localization of AR and its partners in the presence of DBM (+/- androgen) revealed changes in AR translocation to the nucleus. We have hypothesized that this mechanism occurs through a non-competitive antagonism, likely via allosteric effects on AR and/or its coactivation partners. This talk will outline the recent progress made in understanding the underlying mechanism of DBM for chemopreventive activity in carcinogenesis. Advancements in the molecular characterization of DBM will lead to a better understanding in targeting certain pathways using DBM as a nanotube drug delivery option for prostate cancer therapy.
Kimberly M. Jackson is Vice-Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of the new Interdisciplinary Food Studies program at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She is co-director of a new living and learning community for STEM scholars, an initiative whose goal is to improve access to STEM research careers for women of color through professional and social networks and social justice empowerment. Author of "Realigning the Crooked Room: Spelman Claims a Space for African American Women in STEM", Dr. Jackson is a prolific scholar-teacher having mentored more than 35 students, providing them with research experiences in cancer therapeutics and drug discovery. Twenty of her former research students have earned advanced degrees, including four PhD’s with 12 PhD candidates (all women of African descent) in the STEM pipeline, matriculating at tier-one research institutions in the biomedical or chemical sciences. Her robust and active research program focuses on three distinct areas of sustained scholarship: novel therapeutic agents for hormone refractory prostate cancer, the role of minority-serving institutions and women of color in diversifying the STEM pipeline, and innovative tools for biochemical education; each with a host of publications, presentations and funding from multiple agencies. Her work and commitment to STEM excellence has been recognized by several organizations including the Spelman Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Mentoring. A recent Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Jackson has held a research fellow position at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and, a visiting faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA in the Systems Biology department. She serves on the advisory board for COACh for Women Scientists and Engineers and the American Chemical Society Committee on Minority Affairs with the goal of helping to implement policies to promote best practices for recruitment, retention, career development, and evaluation of programs for the advancement of minority scientists.