B.S., University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL, 1997, Biology Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, Department of Molecular Genetics, Chicago IL, 2005, Molecular and Cancer Biology
Research in Lay Terms
Our Lab is interested in understanding cellular and molecular origins of melanoma initiation and clonal progression, as well as, to determine factors underlying aggressive metastatic properties of this disease.
The goal of our research is to identify molecular factors and cell lineages of neural crest origin that contribute to melanoma initiation. We are using gene expression analysis to pinpoint signaling networks that are circumvented during normal development or regeneration of melanocytic lineages and result in malignant melanoma transformation. Using RNA inhibition and cDNA overexpression approaches we modulate expression of the candidate genes in target cell populations that are then assayed for their tumorigenic properties in-vitro and in-vivo. Dr. Boiko lab is also interested in understanding the role of macrophages in melanoma progression and metastasis. Currently we are developing tools that modulate macrophage activity and testing their effect in-vivo in the mouse xenotransplantation model of human metastatic disease.