Anghesom Ghebremedhin, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow University of California, San Diego Dr. Ghenbremedhin’s project is interested in identifying a possible role of a cellular molecule in promoting fibrosis of tissues that ultimately leads to/promotes cancer progression. Previous research from the Varner lab has shown an important role for this molecule in myeloid cell recruitment and controlling the switch from the proinflammatory macrophages towards the profibrotic/anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotypes. With this, Dr. Ghenbremedhin is investigating the role of this cellular molecule in promoting fibrosis that leads to cancer progression in liver and pancreatic cancer animal models. As a preliminary assessment, he has investigated its role in promoting non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in a high fat diet and weekly intraperitoneal injections of 0.32 mg CCl4/g body weight induced liver fibrosis model. As demonstrated by histological and serological analysis of tissues from these animals, the mice that lack the cellular molecule had increased survival rate with significantly reduced fat deposits (steatosis) and fibrosis compared to the wild type (WT) mice. Efforts in the lab to investigate the role of the cellular molecule in promoting pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) leading to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), have found that the mice lacking the cellular molecule and chronically treated with 50ug/kg of cerulein have less pancreatitis development compared to the WT mice chronically treated with 50ug/kg cerulein. With these results as a background, Dr. Ghenbremedhin is proposing that inhibition of the cellular molecule could play a significant role in preventing/inhibiting fibrosis associated cancer progression in liver and pancreatic cancers. Projects and Grants Macrophage PI3Kgamma as a therapeutic target for the prevention of cancer University of California, San Diego | All Cancers | 2022 | Judith A. Varner Ph.D.