My research program is focused on the role of the protein tyrosine phosphatase Shp2 in childhood and adult myeloid leukemia. Activating somatic mutations in the gene encoding Shp2, PTPN11, are found in 35% of children with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Additionally, Shp2 expression is commonly upregulated in myeloid leukemia, and Shp2 function likely works together with other oncogenes (such as activating FLT3-ITD or KITD816D mutants) to promote leukemogenesis. The long-term goals of my research program are to utilize genetic methods to dissect the aberrantly regulated signaling pathways involving Shp2 in an effort to define novel therapeutic targets in myeloid leukemia and to develop further and test novel PI3K inhibitors in in vivo models of mutant Shp2-induced leukemia.
Rebecca Jeanne Chan, MD, PhD