Overview

Illustration showing a representation of dual target genes related to breast cancer.

The Cancer Genomics Laboratory of Zhaoyu Li, Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic in Florida investigates genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of tissue-specific gene regulation during cancer progression, tissue development and stem cell differentiation, and related studies on cancer therapeutics.

Dr. Li's Cancer Genomics lab is performing a comparative genomics study between liver cancer and breast cancer. This study involves comparing the dual regulation of transcription factors Forkhead box A (Foxa) and estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) between these two cancers in mouse models and human tumors. This genomics study is accomplished using genomic and proteomic approaches, such as next-generation sequencing and mass spectrometry.

The Cancer Genomics Laboratory is translating the information obtained from its studies into researching human cancer and testing target genes for therapeutics of both liver cancer and breast cancer. Next-generation sequencing technology allows researchers to reveal detailed chromatin structures in the whole genome, which provides novel scenarios of gene regulation compared to traditional approaches.

The Cancer Genomics Laboratory is also conducting research to identify the genomic and epigenomic landscapes in regulating stem cell differentiation and their impact on cancer progression using genomic and bioinformatics approaches.

Dr. Li's research not only addresses fundamental questions about cancer biology, but may also benefit cancer diagnosis and treatment.