Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable malignancy of plasma cells marked by extreme genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity. Chromosomal hyperdiploidy or recurrent chromosomal translocations involving the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus primarily characterize this disease, with an abundance of mutations chiefly targeting the RAS and NF-kB pathways. While the genetics of MM have been well-annotated, much less is known about pathogenic signaling in MM and how common mutations contribute to oncogenic signaling. My research program utilizes cutting-edge proteogenomic techniques, high-resolution microscopy imaging and biochemical approaches to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying oncogenic signaling in MM. The goal of my lab is to find new opportunities for the targeted treatment of MM by exploiting druggable pathways, even in tumors with undruggable driver oncogenes.
Current projects in the laboratory focus on: 1) discovering new modes of pathogenic signaling emanating from mutant KRAS and NRAS in MM; 2) characterizing the origins of NF-kB survival signaling that is prevalent in MM; and 3) identifying novel genes that control protein stability of commonly expressed oncogenes and tumor suppressors in lymphoid malignancies.
Dr. Young received his B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell University in the laboratory of Drs. Barbara Baird and David Holowka. His dissertation research described how lipid order in the plasma membrane controls signal transduction by regulating the activity of Src-family kinases. He pursued post-doctoral training at National Jewish Medical Research Center in Denver, where he performed the first pre-clinical studies on inhibitors of B cell receptor signaling in lymphoma. He next joined the laboratory of Dr. Louis Staudt at the National Cancer Institute and was later promoted to a staff scientist. During this time Dr. Young developed a deep mechanistic understanding of how aggressive lymphomas utilize the B cell receptor and mutant isoforms of MYD88 to promote tumor growth and survival. These insights have helped to refine the use of B cell receptor pathway inhibitors in the clinic. His current research aims to elucidate pathological signaling in lymphoid malignancies, including multiple myeloma and lymphoma, and leverage these discoveries to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Genetics and Genomics
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
This page was last updated on Wednesday, July 6, 2022