Joseph Taube, PhD
Joseph Taube, PhD
Associate Professor of Biology,
Graduate Program Director
Dr. Taube earned his Ph.D from the University of Texas – Health Science Center in Houston working with Dr. Michelle Barton studying fundamental interactions between transcription factors and chromatin in the context of embryonic stem cell specification and hepatocellular carcinoma.
He continued his training a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Sendurai Mani at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston studying the contribution of epithelial-mesenchymal transition to metastasis and the role of epigenetic regulators for this process.
Recruited in 2015 to Baylor University, Dr. Taube founded a lab dedicated to tackling drivers of mortality in breast cancer through the understanding of epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity and by applying novel molecules capable of targeting cancer stem cells.
Immunology (BIO 4301) – In this course we cover the basic principles of resistance to disease, host-antigen interactions, immunologic response mechanisms, immunologic techniques, and correlations of disease and the immune response. There is a specific emphasis on the molecular and cellular biology that underlies immune responses.
Research Methods I (BIO 5201) – Graduate students will learn the fundamentals and implement effective communication in both written and oral forms.
Cancer Biology (BIO 5409) – Students enrolled in this course will obtain mastery of a wide number of cancer biology-related topics. Furthermore, students will engage the review and primary literature to obtain up-to-date information on advances in cancer biology. Specifically students will understand 1) the molecular alterations which lead to cancer 2) the cell biological changes associated with cancer 3) the histological and systems level response to cancer 4) the diversity and spectrum of cancer as multiple diseases and 5) the current state of cancer intervention as it relates to prevention, genomic profiling, drug targets and treatment strategies.
BIO 3100 and BIO 5100 seminars on topics including Epigenetics, Cancer Biology, and Stem Cells.
Students, both undergraduate and graduate, who do research in the Taube lab are encouraged to “look deeper” and “look further.” By carefully considering the details of experimental procedures and results, students will learn to derive accurate conclusions leading to new scientific findings. By looking at the literature and going to conferences, students will learn to integrate new findings, bring novel techniques, and put their work in context.
Students have presented posters at the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS), the EMT-International Association Conference (TEMTIA), the Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference (MBC Alliance) and the Baylor College of Medicine Breast Center Retreat (Lester and Sue Smith – Breast Center).
Adjunct Member of Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
The Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition International Association (TEMTIA)
Biology Graduate Program Co-Director and Research Rotation Coordinator
Outgrowth of disseminated metastases is the major cause of mortality in cancer patients. In the Taube lab, we are investigating the molecular pathways and cellular properties which enable primary tumor cells to metastasize.
In normal tissues, epithelial cells form a well-structured barrier using a variety of adhesion molecules. However, aberrant activation of a conserved cellular program, termed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), facilitates the separation of epithelial cells from this tissue. When EMT occurs in epithelial tumors, the probability of metastatic dissemination is increased.
Our current work is focused on uncovering the regulatory mechanisms which facilitate EMT in both normal and cancerous settings, describing the specific targets and roles of these regulatory mechanisms and testing small molecule inhibitors of these proteins to ultimately lead to novel therapeutic strategies.