Jaroslaw Dziegielewski, Ph.D

Jaroslaw Dziegielewski, Ph.D

J. Dziegielewski

Jaroslaw Dziegielewski, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Department of Radiation Oncology

Primary E-Mail Address: jd5kf@Virginia.EDU

Office Address: PO Box 800383 

Research Interests: Biological effects of ionizing radiation; Sensitizers for cancer radiotherapy; Radioprotectors; Space radiation

Modulating cellular responses to ionizing radiation 

The overall goal of Dr. Dziegielewski's research group is to advance our understanding of the biological effects of ionizing radiation in the hope of developing better sensitizing agents for tumor radiotherapy and protective agents against environmental/occupational radiation exposures. In the first project, the group is exploring the hypothesis that blocking neurotensin receptor 1 (NTR1), or neuroendocrine stimulatory signaling in general, sensitizes prostate cancer cells and tumors to radiotherapy. The NTR1 receptor has been shown to be expressed only in prostate cancer cells, but not in normal prostate. The group demonstrated that a small molecule antagonist of NTR1 selectively and significantly enhances therapeutic effects of radiation in prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, through the mechanism involving EGFR inhibition and apoptosis induction.  A related project (in collaboration with NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, BNL, NY) concentrates on the possible roles of NTR1 expression and neuroendocrine signaling in carcinogenesis of prostate cells exposed to space radiation. Since astronauts are constantly exposed to ionizing radiation from our Sun and the galaxy, better understanding of its biological effects is crucial for future space travel. In the third research project the group is studying the utility of low voltage-gated calcium channels (LVCCs or T-type) as molecular targets for tumor therapy. The group found that blocking LVCCs induces cell death in glioblastoma tumor cells and sensitizes them to radiotherapy through the inhibition of AKT/mTOR signaling pathways. These studies are being performed in collaboration with several other Cancer Center investigators, most notably Drs Sarah Parsons (Microbiology), James Larner (RadOnc), David Brautigan (Microbiology), and Jason Sheehan (Neurosurgery).