ChicagoCHEC Role: Research Education Core Leadership
Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Grippo has been focused on the design and utility of mouse models of cancer for over 20 years as he continues to generate new mouse models, employing them in order to understand disease progression and the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of those events. Dr. Grippo was one of the first to target mutant KRAS to mouse pancreas, demonstrating that KRAS expression in acinar cells results in acinar-to-ductal metaplasia together with pre-invasive lesions. Dr. Grippo’s laboratory research is focused on identifying defects in signal transduction pathways in GI cancers that affect mutant KRAS-induced neoplasia and cancer in genetically engineered mouse models. His particular research focus within that umbrella would be the effects of high fat diets on mutant Kras-induced neoplasia and cancer. To that end, he successfully garnished a NIH R01 grant (2012-2017) aimed at evaluating the effects of high fat diets on the development of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Grippo also has a focus on the effects of altered TGF signals in the context of mutant Kras expression and additional effects from a TGF signal-deficient environment. This latter report demonstrates reduced fibrosis and a robust tumor-specific immune response following suppression of TGF signals in the hematopoietic compartment. His interest in mechanistic interplays between TGF and KRAS signals as it relates to cell cycle players has been showcased in both pancreas and colon. All of these findings likely will have clinical ramifications particularly as mechanisms involved become fully appreciated and exploited. With his expertise at employing mutant Kras to induce pancreatic neoplasia and cancer, Dr. Grippo can provide a variety of animal models and consultation on their use and findings generated thereof.
Dr. Paul Grippo has developed LEAP (Laboratory Experience and Program) to provide dry or wet lab experiences and community internship opportunities for graduated ChicagoCHEC fellows.