Baron Lab

Véronique Baron completed her PhD in 1991 in Nice (France), working on the molecular mechanisms of activation of the insulin receptor. A year later she obtained a position at the Franch National Biomedical Research Institute (INSERM: Institut National pour la Sante et le Recherche Medicale), where she has worked until 2000. A brief visit in 1998 in the laboratory of Martin’s Schwartz at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego (CA) allowed her to study the crosstalk between tyrosine kinase receptors and integrins. At the end of 2000 she joined the laboratory of Prof. Dan Mercola at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. She is now an Assistant Professor at the Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego.

Her efforts have been focused on the study of Egr-1 (Early Growth Response-1), a transcription factor that regulates genes implicated in the growth and survival of cancer cells and that acts as an oncogene or as a tumor suppressor depending on the circumstances. She has been particularly involved in testing the hypothesis, backed by recent evidence from independent laboratories, that Egr-1 promotes the progression of prostate cancer, a prevalent malignancy among men in the United-States.

Dr. Baron’s laboratory is studying the regulation of Egr-1 expression in prostate cancer cells, and the molecular mechanisms of its oncogenic action. In a collaboration with Prof Dan Mercola she has observed that abrogating Egr-1 function in prostate cancer cells causes an almost complete stop of cell division and a delay in the development of prostate tumors in mice. Thus, these studies have identified Egr-1 as a potential target for prostate cancer therapy.

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