Pradip De, MS, PhD, is a Senior Scientist who is part of the Translational Oncology Laboratory at Avera Cancer Institute.
The laboratory’s mission includes five key elements:
- Principal investigator-initiated research projects
- Scientific interrogations of genomic alterations in patients at Avera Cancer Institute as well as the TRACK national rare-cancer trial program
- Training and teaching of research-team members, including post-doctoral and graduate students
- Departmental research based on recommendations of ACIs institutional review board
- Extracurricular scholarly activity and academic exercise
Dr. De is the Research Scientist Lead in the Translational Oncology Laboratory and also serves as a member of the Clinical Advisory Council of Viecure as the Signal Transduction Pathway Consultant.
His Avera team includes Dr. Nandini Dey, Avera Research Scientist Lead and Laboratory Director; Jennifer Aske, research laboratory supervisor; Nischal Koirala, post-doctoral fellow; Xiaoqian Lin, research associate lead; and Adam Dale, research associate.
The major research interest of Dr. De involves scientific interrogation of the genomic alterations of tumors in patients who receive treatment at ACI. He also runs hypothesis-driven scientific projects to understand the mechanism of drug action in tumor cells and to test combinations of targeted drugs.
He also serves as an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. He often mentors final-year medical students in this program.
With more than 50 published scholarly publications as well as decades in cancer research, Dr. De is also a prolific principal author of the scholarly presentation, book chapters, and much more. His scientific interrogation has been a part of several tumor boards both inside ACI and outside institutions.
Recently, he was invited to join the team that is developing the world-renowned TCF-001 TRACK (Target Rare Cancer Knowledge) study. TCF-001 TRACK (NCT 04504640) is a prospective clinical trial seeking to enroll 400 patients with rare cancers or cancer of unknown primary. The effort is led by TargetCancer Foundation (TCF), which has stood at the intersection of rare cancer patients, advocates, researchers and clinicians.
His scientific research was integral in more than 150 oral and posters in national and international symposiums and conferences.
Dr. De’s research focus is the investigation of signal processing in tumor cells with special reference to ER+ and HER2+ breast cancers.
With more than 25 years of experience as a signal transduction biologist, he seeks further to understand how phosphorylation and dephosphorization of cellular proteins coordinate signals in breast and gynecological cancers. His research looks at questions including:
- The identification of novel biomarkers that are associated with response or resistance to cancer therapeutics.
- Identification of “signaling hubs” as an enticing molecular target for subset-specific breast cancer therapy, one that has the potential to overcome conventional targeted therapy resistance, with the intent to translate these important findings into future clinical trials as well as laboratory-based research that serves to enhance patient care.
- Study of the role of aberrantly activated signaling pathways, such as PI3K-AKT-mTOR and RAS-MAPK pathways, as potential therapeutic targets in subset-specific breast and OB/GYN cancers.
- Development of multiple ex vivo models in solid tumors to investigate genomic predictors of anticancer drug sensitivity.