Research projects in the Barthel Laboratory include:
Project 1: Characterization of Lectin-binding Glycans and Galectins in Melanoma Progression.
Goals are to dissect a newly discovered lectin-binding and galectin signaling pathway operative in melanoma cells exhibiting growth-suppressive, immune-priming activities. We hope to interrogate and exploit this undescribed anti-cancer circuit for therapeutic development and for diagnosing melanoma formation and progression to metastases.
Project 2: Development of Human Antibodies Against Glycobiological Factors in Cancer and Inflammation.
Goals are to discover, optimize and functionally characterize fully human monoclonal antibodies with neutralizing or stimulatory therapeutic activities against lectins and carbohydrate mediators of cancer progression and immune diseases. We hope these humanized antibodies can be utilized to help patients and to aid in biomedical disease research.
Project 3: Exploration of Adhesive Determinants of Melanoma Stem Cell Metastasis.
Goals are to dissect the roles of adhesive mediators in malignant melanoma initiating cell (MMIC) adhesion, invasion and transendothelial migration and to define their contributions to MMIC trafficking and metastasis. We hope this work will provide new insight into the ill-defined mechanisms of cancer stem cell metastasis and lead to new therapeutics for blocking cancer spreading and for improving canc1er diagnoses.
Project 4: Identification and Function of Lectin-binding Glycans and Galectins in Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Goals are to analyze the lectin-binding and galectin repertoire underlying growth, invasion and signaling of normal and malignant stratified epithelia. We hope this work will illuminate lectin-binding glycans and galectins with cancer growth-suppressive and wound potentiating activities.