Nandini Dey, BS, MS, PhD, is Director of the Translational Oncology Laboratory at Avera Cancer Institute and serves as Senior Scientist Lead.
The lab’s mission includes five key elements:
- Principal investigator-initiated research projects
- Scientific interrogations of genomic alterations in patients (via the TRACK trial program)
- Training and teaching of research-team members, include post-doctoral students, graduate students and others
- Departmental research based on recommendations of ACIs institutional review board
- Extracurricular scholarly activity and academic exercise
In addition to Dr. Dey, members of the team include Pradip De, PhD, research scientist; Jennifer Aske, research laboratory supervisor; Nischal Koirala, postdoctoral fellow; Xiaoqian Lin, research associate lead; and Adam Dale, research associate.
The laboratory holds a significant place in the work of the entire institute, in that it not only conducts research but applies that research to specific cases the oncologists of Avera Cancer Institute need to help patients.
Since 1990, Dr. Dey has published dozens of book chapters or served as editor in scholarly publications hundreds of times. She was the principal author of nearly 50 scholarly papers, and she has presented at more than 130 conferences, including noteworthy global efforts with the leading minds in cancer research. She also authored a dozen preclinical drug-trial studies in her career. She also has extensive experience as an educator and lead educator.
Dr. Dey’s primary focus is the study of the signal-processing in tumor cells with particular reference to solid tumors, including Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancers (HDSOC), and Endometrial Cancers. It involves pathways like the PI3K-PTEN-AKT-mTOR pathway, RAS-MAPK pathway, Wnt-beta-catenin pathway, DNA damage-repair pathway and cell cycle pathway.
Her research looks at questions including:
- How tumor cells process exogenous signals that lead to particular tumor-phenotypes (proliferation, trans-differentiation, EMT, apoptosis, adhesion, migration, and invasion, and vascular mimicry) under normoxic and hypoxic conditions?
- How the understanding of the mechanism of cellular response to these signals can be utilized to inhibit tumor cells' growth and phenotypes.