John S. Lazo, PhD
The primarily research focus of the Lazo Laboratory is on the mechanism of action of novel and existing pharmacological agents, particularly natural products, and on the fundamental biological role of protein tyrosine phosphatases.
Our research focuses on investigating how protein tyrosine phosphatases, such as phosphatase of regenerating liver (PTP4A3), mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatases (DUSPs), and Cdc25, control cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and survival using both molecular biological and pharmacological approaches and on applying chemical biological methodologies to the discovery of new chemical probes and potential therapeutics. We currently have developed the first phosphatase of regenerating liver knock out mouse model to investigate the role of this unique protein in colorectal cancer. We have discovered several potent and specific small molecule inhibitors of these protein phosphatases and are investigating their pharmacological properties.
A second funded project is examining the intracellular pathways and related small molecules that mitigate or enhance the toxic effects of radiation. In particular we have used siRNA library screening methods to identify druggable phosphorylation-associated molecular targets for radiation mitigation. Some of the high throughput approaches we use are broadly applicable to other pathological conditions as well as identifying novel drug combinations.