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Wolfe Lab | Translational Radiation Oncology 

The Wolfe Lab is an interdisciplinary research lab that spans the interface between DNA repair and radiation therapy in deadly cancers. The lab studies aspects of oncogenic DNA repair regulation, homologous recombination dynamics, and radiation mouse models of human cancer.

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Research Program

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   The Wolfe lab investigates DNA repair pathways leading to treatment resistance to radiation therapy, novel DNA damage radiation biomarkers, and the development of novel DNA repair targets to improve responses to radiation therapy. We are interested in understanding the molecular drives of radiation resistance. Our main disease of focus is pancreatic cancer. We utilize genetic and proteomic approaches to 

address the fundamental mechanisms of genetic alterations in cancer cells, resulting in heightened DNA repair leading to radiation resistance. We have developed relevant in vitro and in vivo models of human cancer that mimic the disease phenotype in patients. 

   The projects that we currently are working on in the lab are:

1.  Role of DNA repair proteins in radiation resistance in KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer. DNA repair is critically important for maintaining the radioresistant phenotype of KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer.   We are studying ways to target upregulated DNA repair pathways that

can enhance tumor control and clinical outcomes through “biological dose escalation” to the tumor while sparing the surrounding critical structures.

2.  Translational model of radiation therapy in pancreatic cancer. We have developed a clinically relevant pancreatic preclinical model to understand better the role of  DNA repair on therapeutic response. We use a Small Animal Radiation Research Platform combined with the high field MRI available at UAMS.  We are testing novel radiosensitizers that could be moved into Phase I clinical trials using this model.

3.  DNA Damage biomarkers for treatment guidance. We utilize the quantitative immunohistochemistry for DNA repair proteins on pre-treatment biopsy samples to correlate clinical outcomes following radiation. We can discover novel DNA damage biomarkers to personalize treatments for our cancer patients.

Key Publications

Clinical Cancer Research (Journal)

Discovery of the inhibitor of DNA binding 1 as a novel marker for radioresistance in pancreatic cancer using genome-wide RNA-seq

Read our publication here.

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Clinical Cancer Research

BRAF mutation drives radiation resistance in Thyroid Cancer through upregulation of DNA repair pathways .Read our publication here.

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Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

Simvastatin inhibits in vitro endpoints associated with metastasis through a FOXO3a mechanism and reduced metastasis formation in vivo.

Read our publication here.

Clinical Cancer Research 

Altered schedling regimen increases efficacy of the chemotherapy in resistant pancreatic cancer.

Read our publication here.

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Our Team

Oscar Zuniga

Henrique Favorin Rodrigues B.S

Research Assistant/Lab Manager, Department of Radiation Oncology

Henrique joined the laboratory in May 2022. He has a MeD in Chemistry from the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil. He has over a decade of experience in research.

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Adam Wolfe MD, PhD

Principal Investigator

Dr. Wolfe is a physician-scientist in Radiation Oncology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). He is an assistant professor as of 2021. He is passionate about translational oncology research to provide better treatment outcomes for our patients. In the clinic, he treats patients with gastrointestinal cancers. In the lab, he researches new strategies to improve radiation therapy.

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Laboratory Technician, Department of Radiation Oncology

Oscar joined the laboratory in 2021 and is a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His long term aspirations are to enter into medical school.

Our Team
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Lokesh Akana M.S

PhD. Student, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (GPIBS)

Lokesh joined the laboratory in January 2023. Before coming to UAMS, he attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and received his Master's Degree in Biological Sciences.

Summer Students

Summer 2023:

Alexander Browning - BA Candidate, Ouachita Baptist University

Jessica Pittman - BA Candidate, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Summer 2022:

Robin Eluvathingal - BA Candidate, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

Stetson VanMatre- BS Candidate, University of  Central Arkansas

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Science Lab

Come Work with Us

Join the Team

The Wolfe lab is actively recruiting new members to join our team! We have funded positions for postdoctoral fellows and research scientists. Please apply below if you are interested in joining! 

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News

News

Stay Informed About Wolfe Lab | Radiation Oncology Research

Dr. Wolfe receive ACS grant!

Dr. Wolfe receive a $583,200 grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS) to study radiation resistance in pancreatic cancer.

Read more here

Dr. Wolfe is awarded a KL2 award!

Dr. Wolfe was awarded a KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Scholar Award from the UAMS Translational Research Institute. This award will fund the research in Dr. Wolfe's lab for 2 years. 

Read more here.

Wolfe lab awarded Team Science Award!

The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Team Science Award supports new cancer-focused research between Cancer Institute members. 

Read more here. 

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