Karoline J. Briegel, Ph.D.,
- Fax: 305-243-3955
- Assistant Professor
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women and the most common cause of cancer-related death among women of the Western world. Yet, the molecular mechanisms that ensure normal growth and differentiation of breast epithelial cells and that go awry during breast carcinogenesis are poorly understood.
Dr. Briegel's Laboratory is studying embryonic transcription factors, which have dual roles in embryonic development and cancer development. These factors control key developmental processes that involve alterations in cell specification, cell proliferation, differentiation, cell death and cell migration. As many of these events are recapitulated during tumorigenesis, dysregulation of embryonic transcription factors may be a crucial step in the neoplastic process leading to breast cancer. Reactivation of embryonic genetic programs in the adult mammary gland may also promote the uncontrolled growth and tumorigenicity of a small population of mammary stem cells. These stem cells have recently been shown to be the primary targets for transformation during breast carcinogenesis. Finally, several embryonic transcription factors have been implicated in breast metastasis. The focus of Dr. Briegel's research is to characterize how dysregulation of key embryonic transcription factors contributes to breast carcinogenesis by using the mouse as a model system for human breast cancer. Their strategy is to combine mouse genetic, molecular, cell biological, and biochemical techniques to determine the genetic, biochemical and target gene interactions of selected embryonic transcription factors during neoplastic mammogenesis.
2002 Research Associate
ICMB, University of Texas
2000 Research Associate
Howard Huges Medical Institute, NYU Medical Center
Skirball Institute, NYU Medical Center
University of Vienna
University of Würzburg
Dr. Briegel received her undergraduate degree from the University of Würzburg, Germany and her graduate degree from the University of Vienna, Austria. She did her Ph.D. thesis work at the Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) Vienna and her postdoctoral work with Dr. Alexandra Joyner at the Skirball Institute of NYU Medical Center in New York. Subsequently, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Alan Lambowitz at the ICMB of the University of Texas at Austin as a research associate. Dr. Briegel became an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Braman Breast Cancer Research Institute of the University of Miami in July 2004.