When he was younger, Luke Engelking’s mom requested him what he wished to be when he grew up. His reply? “’A mad scientist,’” he stated.
Engelking actually was uncovered to the concept of a profession in science and drugs early, as his mom pursued a second profession as a doctor’s assistant throughout his highschool years. “Sadly, she had numerous uncommon autoimmune illnesses and was typically out and in of docs’ places of work,” Engelking stated. “From then on, I at all times knew I wished to go to med college. Nevertheless, I wasn’t at all times sure that I wished a Ph.D.”
Engelking ended up doing each. He went to medical college on the College of Texas Southwestern Medical Middle, the place he bought his M.D.–Ph.D. within the lab of Nobel laureates Michael Brown and Joe Goldstein, finest recognized for his or her discovery of the low-density lipoprotein receptor and its regulation of ldl cholesterol metabolism. He loved working with Brown and Goldstein.
“It was a really productive time,” Engelking stated. “I actually didn’t admire working beneath their aegis after I was doing it. … When you’re out by yourself, every part is extra of a battle.”
Engelking has embraced that battle. After a residency at Massachusetts Normal Hospital and a medical and analysis fellowship again at UT Southwestern, he not solely started seeing sufferers as an attending doctor but additionally opened his personal analysis lab as an assistant professor within the departments of inner drugs and molecular genetics, finding out the function of sterol receptor element-binding proteins in colon most cancers progress and development.
Now an affiliate professor, Engelking balances his time between seeing sufferers and conducting analysis. As well as, he’s working to ascertain a medical analysis program in colon most cancers genetics so information on mutations of enrolled sufferers may be made publicly accessible to researchers at UT Southwestern and around the globe.
“It’s my hope that we’ll be capable to synergize the medical work with the work happening within the lab,” he stated. “It’s a problem to attempt to get all of this work to align — I hope I’m making progress, however we’re not fairly there but.”
Figuring out markers of most cancers cell proliferation within the gut
As a doctor, Luke Engelking practices grownup gastroenterology, specializing in sufferers with inherited mutations that result in colorectal cancers as in Lynch and familial adenomatous polyposis, or FAP, syndromes.
Within the Engelking lab, analysis focuses on the roles of lipids in intestinal epithelial cell progress. The lab makes use of Cre-lox and CRISPR instruments to change gene expression, RNA-seq and lipidomics to profile cell markers, and intestinal organoids from each people and mice as mannequin methods.
The researchers hope that discovering novel mechanisms by which sterol receptor element-binding proteins, or SREBPs, regulate tumor cell progress and proliferation will current new drug targets for the therapy of colon most cancers. Not too long ago, the lab demonstrated that selective lack of SREBP-2, which blocks ldl cholesterol synthesis, results in overgrowth and elevated proliferation of intestinal progenitor cells.
“What I actually hope to do is transfer towards patient-oriented research,” Engelking stated. “Maybe we’ll discover sufferers with FAP phenotypes however unknown genetic markers. There are any variety of genetic unknowns that impression underlying most cancers biology.”