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Cancer Biology Program

nanoparticleThe holy grail of cancer research is therapy that can specifically target cancer cells while avoiding damaging side effects. Dr. McCormick has taken a new approach to this goal by capitalizing on an unexpected resource: host-targeting proteins produced by pathogenic bacteria. She has made the surprising discovery that one of these proteins, SipA, from the bacterial pathogen Salmonella typhimurium, interacts with a broad spectrum of tumors, inhibiting the cellular mechanisms that allow cancer cells to develop resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs.  By designing a targeted delivery model system based on SipA-therapy, a key goal is to combat cancer drug resistance by drastically improving the effectiveness of traditional treatments. This unconventional approach has the potential to be highly transformative, providing a platform to develop novel small, safe, and effective molecules that can deliver chemotherapeutic drugs into targeted cancer cells with unprecedented efficacy.

Selected Publications:

  1. Siccardi D, Mumy KL, Wall DM, Bien JD, McCormick BA. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium modulates P-glycoprotein in the intestinal epithelium. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2008 Jun;294(6):G1392-400.

  2. Mercado-Lubo, R, Zhnag Y, Zhao L, Rossi K, Wu X, Zou Y, Castillo A, Leonard J, Bortell R, Greiner DL, Shultz LD, Han Gang, McCormick BA. A Salmonella nanoparticle mimic overcomes multidrug resistance in tumors. Nat Commun. 2016 Jul 25;7:12225.

  3. Mercado-Lubo, R and McCormick BA. Can a nanoparticle that mimics Salmonella effectively control tumor chemotherapy resistance? Nanomedicine (Lond). 2017 Apr;12(7):705-710. doi: 10.2217/nnm-2017-0005. Epub 2017 Mar 21.