All potential transcriptional programs governing the behavior of human cells are encoded in the human genome. In healthy tissue, the implementation of each transcriptional program is carefully orchestrated through both intracellular and intercellular stimuli. During tumorigenesis, a combination of acquired genetic mutations and abnormal environmental stimuli result in aberrant regulation.
The Judson-Torres Lab investigates how the interplay between the initial transcriptional state of a normal cell, acquired genetic mutations, and extracellular signaling contributes to cancer initiation and progression. We conduct our studies using donated primary human melanoma and skin, with the goal of focusing our exploration of basic cell and RNA biology to address pressing clinical needs in the diagnosis and prevention of this deadly skin cancer.