Projects Overview

On this page you will find an overview of all of our ongoing projects and collaborations.

Projects Overview

On this page you will find an overview of all of our ongoing projects and collaborations.

Research in the Taube Lab focuses on cancer stem cells, epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity and their roles in breast cancer metastasis. Current lab projects are exploring regulators of chromatin accessibility, microRNAs, and drug-like natural products.

Also, check out our publications!

microRNAs in Breast Cancer

microRNAs regulate cell fate through target gene down-regulation. We have uncovered microRNAs altered by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and in triple-negative breast cancer subtypes. Through a collaboration with leading nanoparticle researchers, we are developing and testing microRNA transfer and replacement technologies.

Histone Demethylases in Cancer Cell Plasticity

Histone modifications allow plasticity in gene expression and cellular behavior. We have demonstrated that EMT drives genome-wide changes in the histone methylation landscape, particularly at H3K27me3, a silencing signal. Manipulating the localization or activity of the enzymes that deposit and remove H3K27me3 holds the potential for reducing cellular plasticity in tumors.

Funded by Susan G. Komen #CCR18548469

Small Molecules to target Cancer Stem Cells

Cancer stem cells are intrinsically resistant to most therapies. Through a collaboration with leading synthetic chemists, we are investigating and developing compounds that selectively eliminate cancer stem cells through non-apoptotic mechanisms.

Funded by CPRIT #RP180771

Reversible EMT and Metastasis

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) enhances metastatic dissemination while partial EMT or reversal of EMT facilitates growth of metastases. We are investigating the factors that allow for epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity and which contribute to metastasis.

Outer Membrane Vesicles And Cancer

Outer membrane vesicles are spherical lipid vesicles that result from budding of the outer membrane of various bacteria. We are working on defining the relationship between bacterial outer membrane vesicles and the biology of colonic epithelia and cancer stem cells.

MiniPharma Collaboration

The MiniPharma group is an undergraduate-lead collaboration under the guidance of Drs. Romo (synthetic chemistry), Hull (computational chemistry), and Taube (cancer biology).

The goal of the collaboration is to provide participating undergraduates with a ‘taste’ of the pharmaceutical industry with respect to development of small molecule inhibitors as potential chemotherapeutics by focusing on early stage drug lead development. See the website for more information or to get involved!