Research Associate, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta
I am Research Associate with Dr. John Lewis (University of Alberta). My main work areas include (1) preclinical development of novel biomarkers for prostate cancer screening and diagnosis, (2) small molecule library screening for various cancer therapeutic applications and (3) preclinical development of a liposomal / nanoparticle drug delivery platform.
My main focus is the development of prostate cancer microparticle biomarkers. We have identified new markers which are used in a “liquid biopsy” to detect and enumerate microparticles which are not only prostate cancer specific, but also indicative of disease status (e.g. normal, benign or metastatic). We are currently working on both retrospective and prospective sample analyses to further validate this assay but also and in collaboration with others, to identify and develop new prostate cancer specific biomarkers using proteomics, metabolomics and genetics.
While my main focus is the development of a liquid biopsy for prostate cancer microparticle biomarkers, my broad interest lies with assay and platform development for preclinical applications. In the Lewis lab we utilize many standard assay protocols but we are known for the development and use of the ex ovo chicken embryo model, also known as the chorioallantoic membrane or CAM model. This model system is used for investigating angiogenesis, metastasis, tumor biology, tumor vascular permeability, and nanoparticle, imaging agent and drug delivery. This model has permitted us to investigate and develop many imaging agents, biomarkers, antibodies, small molecule drugs with real time, and quantitative analyses under in vivo conditions. Much of my previous work was spent developing a real time, intravital tumor vascular permeability assay in the CAM model system.
Pink DB, Schulte W, Parseghian MH, Zijlstra A, Lewis JD. Real-time visualization and quantitation of vascular permeability in vivo: implications for drug delivery. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33760.
Zhang Y, Schulte W, Pink D, Phipps K, Zijlstra A, Lewis JD, Waisman DM. Sensitivity of cancer cells to truncated diphtheria toxin. PLoS One. 2010 May 5;5(5):e10498.