Dr. Gercel-Taylor’s research is directed at investigations that define genetic and epigenetic alterations associated with the development of cancer and how these alterations can be modified by hormones and phytohormones as therapeutic agents alone and in combination with conventional therapies. Her lab’s research focuses on four interrelated areas that evolve around the theme of amplifying the efficacy of therapeutic approaches to cancer and chronic diseases associated with aging in women.
Prognostic indicators in ovarian cancer. Studies are directed at the identification of prognostic indicators to design and monitor therapy, allowing individualization of therapy. This approach facilitates the identification of therapeutic targets and defines mechanisms regulating drug sensitivity and resistance. The incorporation of molecular markers into the pathologic analysis of ovarian cancer will lead to more appropriate use of drugs, reduced morbidity and optimized efficacy.
Cellular response to chemotherapy. Studies are directed to understanding the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of drug resistance. Use of translational objectives will provide a molecular rationale to guide the choice of therapy and the duration of treatment for individual patients, while defining mechanisms underlying drug resistance will lead to creative approaches for new drug discovery and improved utilization of existing chemotherapies.
Hormone therapy in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. Studies are directed to determining the mechanism through which combination hormone therapy and its individual components can alter the incidence or recurrence of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as the development of CVD. Differential expression of cellular estrogen receptors (ERα, ERβ and GPR30) have been implicated as key determinants in the cellular responses to exogenous estrogens, which can trigger molecular events leading to chronic diseases.
Complementary and Alternative medical (C