Glenn Merlino, PhD
Dr. Merlino’s career research contributions include the areas of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, oncogenic transformation, transcriptional regulation, cell cycle regulation, multiple drug resistance and genomic instability. Dr. Merlino was the first to report the amplification/rearrangement of the EGFR gene in human cancer and was among the first to show that growth factors could function in vivo as oncogenes using transgenic mouse models. Currently, Dr. Merlino and his colleagues in the Cancer Modeling Section are seeking to elucidate the complex molecular/genetic programs governing melanoma genesis and progression through development and analysis of GEM models of human cancer. Using a novel mouse melanoma model, Dr. Merlino provided the first experimental evidence supporting the notion that childhood sunburn is a critical melanoma risk factor. This model is being used to identify the molecular wiring of melanoma initiation by UV radiation, and to access the relative risks of exposure to UVA and UVB in sunlight. A translational goal is to use GEM models for preclinical studies aimed at studying residual metastatic disease and its resistance to therapeutics.