Pancreatic cancers: genetics of sporadic and familial pancreatic cancer. In collaboration with the Vogelstein/Kinzler lab, in 2008 we reported exome sequencing for 24 pancreatic cancers, where we confirmed identified genes in another 92 cancers. In Jones 2009, we identified that the partner and localizer of BRCA2 (PALB2) was a familial pancreatic cancer predisposition gene. Using gene mutations in primary cancers and their metastases, we clocked the progression of pancreatic cancer to demonstrate that metastasis is a late event, occurring after 17 years of growth in the primary site. Finally, in Norris et al, we reported a new method of mutagenesis in pancreatic cancer.
Chemotherapy of pancreatic cancer. In Cui et al, we correlated the genetics of pancreatic cancer with responses to various classes of chemotherapy. In Kamiyama, we developed mice that are both immunodeficient and biochemically selectable. After growth of human cancers in these mice, pure cancer cells can be routinely obtained for drug screening.
Novel molecular pathology tools. We wrote software to simulate pyrosequencing (Chen et al), and developed a method (haplotype counting) to overcome the error rate of next-generation sequencing (Debeljak et al).
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Eshleman JR, Lang EZ, Bowerfind GK, Parsons R, Vogelstein B, Willson JKV, Veigl M, Sedwick WD, and Markowitz S. Increased mutation rate at the hprt locus accompanies microsatellite instability in colon cancer. Oncogene. 1995; 10:33-7.