Professor and Department Chair
Foran Hall 108
Research in the Cohick laboratory centers on the role of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system in normal mammary gland physiology as well as breast cancer. The IGFs are peptide growth factors that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and migration, processes critical to both normal mammary gland development and lactation as well as breast cancer tumorigenesis. They associate with a family of high affinity binding proteins (IGFBPs) that function to transport the IGFs in the circulation and prolong their half-life. In addition, IGFBPs act at the cellular level to either enhance or inhibit the biological actions of IGFs as well as other agents that affect cell growth and survival. Many of these effects are independent of IGF binding, although the precise mechanisms are not well understood. Currently we are exploring how IGFBP-3 is involved in stress-induced apoptosis, or programmed cell death. We have also expanded our work in the area of apoptosis to determine how the biological toxin ricin mediates cell death in mammalian cells. Using an in vivo rat model, we are studying how environmental insults to the fetus during pregnancy affect lifelong susceptibility to mammary tumorigenesis in the offspring. Specific projects include:
- Cellular and molecular mechanisms by which IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 regulate growth, differentiation and apoptosis of mammary epithelial cells
- Understanding how IGF-I and IGFBPs affect stromal-epithelial interactions in the mammary gland.
- Understanding how fetal alcohol exposure increases breast cancer risk in adult animals.
- Determining how ricin interacts with the ribosome to inhibit protein synthesis and induce cell death.
|Chair||Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University||2014 - present|
|Professor||Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University||2011|
|Associate Professor||Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University||2002|
|Assistant Professor||Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University||1996|
|Department of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology
UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
|Postdoc||University of North Carolina School of Medicine||1989|
|Ph.D.||Animal Science, Cornell University||1989|
|M.S.||Dairy Nutrition, University of Illinois||1984|
|B.S.||Animal Science, Cornell University||1981|
Members of the Cohick Lab
Dr. Amanda Jetzt, Research Associate. (Ph.D. UMDNJ, Post-doc Schering Plough, Oncology)
Mariyana Saboya; Ph.D. student in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences
Jennifer Skorupa, M.S. student in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences
Ketaki Datar, M.S. student, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology