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Molecular Principles

The students in the Molecular Principles Pathway are part of research projects spanning several disciplines including molecular, cellular and regulatory biochemistry; molecular biophysics; chemical biology; and structural biology. Students collaborate with several departments to research molecular pathways associated with a variety of diseases and engineer molecular systems for therapeutic use.

Systems pharmacology of anti-cancer therapies - Michael J. Lee Lab and Peter Cruz-Gordillo

Systems pharmacology of anti-cancer therapies - Michael J. Lee Lab and Peter Cruz-Gordillo

Systems pharmacology of anti-cancer therapies

Michael J. Lee Lab and Peter Cruz-Gordillo


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One of the promises in this post-genomic era of biology was a more personalized form of medicine, in which therapies could be tailored to the specific needs of the group (or even the individual). While a wealth of information has indeed been gathered for many types of cancer, a major shortcoming remains our inability to make rational predictions of combinatorial drug effects. Our lab is mainly interested in understanding mechanisms of anti-cancer drug action, in order to aid in the creation of better therapeutic options of patients. We focus on signaling pathways controlling the growth, survival, and death of cancer cells, in order to identify sources of therapeutic variability and to clarify the “rules” that underlie the efficacy of drugs, both when used as single agents and when used in complex combinations.
Michael J. Lee Lab

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Peter is of Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage, raised in San Juan, PR and Miami, FL. He graduated from Duke University in 2011 and, subsequently, trained at The Broad Institute, where he developed his interest in cancer biology, genomics, and drug resistance. Peter joined Dr. Lee’s lab in 2015. In the lab, he is interested in understanding non-genetic mechanisms of drug resistance to targeted therapies. His thesis project centers around describing how drugs can inhibit their purported target, while simultaneously priming cells into a plastic state that allows them to adapt to the drug, leading to resistance. Peter is an active member of student government groups, leading faculty-student collaborative initiatives that advocate for students across the three schools at UMassMed. Outside of the lab, Peter enjoys watching movies, playing golf, rock climbing, and cooking.
Peter.Cruz-Gordillo@umassmed.edu