Are nutrient addicts. Normal cells survive stress by becoming quiescent, but oncogenic mutations drive continuous growth making cancer cells vulnerable.
UNMET CLINICAL NEED
Traditional cancer therapies are toxic. Newer, targeted therapies are limited by tumor heterogeneity and the development of resistance.
that act as global regulators of nutrient uptake have inspired us to create small molecules with similar activities but superior drug properties.
Welcome to the Edinger Lab
We use interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to overcome challenging problems in the field of cancer metabolism. Rather than focusing on individual anabolic enzymes and metabolites, we target intracellular trafficking pathways to more globally disrupt nutrient acquisition. This holistic approach should limit the development of drug resistance and produce new therapies that are broadly active against cancers with many different driver mutations. By starting with endogenous molecules that have been optimized by evolution to balance growth suppression with toxicity, we can design compounds that are safe for normal cells despite their multi-faceted, anti-cancer actions. We embrace the pleiotropic actions of these compounds – their parallel effects allow them to function as single-agent combination therapies, generating complementary, anti-neoplastic actions without the pharmacologic complications associated with administering multiple drugs.
Develop innovative cancer therapies that are less toxic and more effective than currently available drugs both when used as single agents and in combination with existing therapies.
We target apical, regulatory nodes to disable multiple oncogenic pathways simultaneously. Using drug-like variants of natural molecules that control growth limits the toxicity of this approach.
By expanding our understanding of how cancer cells acquire and process nutrients, we hope to uncover new targets for cancer therapies and increase our knowledge of how cells respond to stress.
Aimee Edinger, VMD/PhD
Aimee Edinger is a professor of Developmental and Cell Biology in the UC Irvine School of Biological Sciences and a member of the NCI-designated Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCI. She joined UCI in 2005 after completing a PhD in Virology, veterinary training (VMD), and a postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Edinger lab research in leukemia, prostate, and breast cancer models has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the American Cancer Society, the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, the University of California Cancer Research Coordinating Committee, the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation, the Ono Pharma Foundation, the William Lawrence and Blanche Hughes Foundation, the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Anti-Cancer Challenge, and UCI Applied Innovation. Dr. Edinger is an inventor on six patents with others in process.
Professor Edinger has taught several of UCI’s undergraduate and graduate core courses and is actively engaged in the development of an Honors curriculum focused on critical analysis of primary research data and intellectual risk-taking. The Edinger lab includes a cohort of dedicated undergraduate researchers who make key contributions to our discovery efforts and publications. Dr. Edinger’s efforts to support UCI’s teaching mission have been recognized by a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and a Golden Apple teaching award from the School of Biological Sciences. Dr. Edinger has served as the Equity Advisor for the School since 2016. In this role, she works with School leadership to promote inclusive excellence and diversity among our faculty, staff, and students.