Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Transcriptional control is a key step in the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. The Sun lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanism of transcription factors that govern the transformation of normal mammalian cells to a neoplastic state. They are especially interested in the biological role of androgen receptor (AR), a nuclear hormone receptor, in development and related human diseases. Most prostate cancer cells express the AR and are androgen-dependent. Therefore, androgen ablation therapy has been routinely used for treatment of advanced prostate cancer. While the treatment initially achieves dramatic therapeutic response, it eventually fails in nearly all patients. Consequently, the patients develop castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) after two to three years following the therapy, for which there is no curable treatment. The lab's current efforts mainly focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying androgen signaling in prostate cancer progression and CRPC development. Ongoing projects in the lab are addressing several unknown and important questions in the field.