Ramon Parsons

Avon Foundation Professor of Pathology and Medicine,
Institute for Cancer Genetics and Irving Cancer Center,
Columbia University, New York, NY

Ph.D., 1992; advisor, Peter Tegtmeyer
M.D., 1992, Stony Brook University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University; P.I., Bert Vogelstein


Research Interests

The research in my lab focuses on the identification of the pathogenic mechanisms that lead to the development of breast cancer and other malignancies with an eye towards identifying strategies for treatment. We are particularly interested in understanding the role of PTEN and the Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway in cancer biology. PTEN is one of the most frequently inactivated tumor suppressors in human cancer; PIK3CA, the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of PI3K-alpha, is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes. PTEN and the PI3K pathway are situated on one of the major conduits involved in the transformation of a normal cell into cancer given that PI3K pathway activation is a critical oncogenic output of RAS and receptor tyrosine kinase oncogenes. Activation of the PI3K pathway inhibits apoptosis and stimulates proliferation, genetic instability, cell size, cell migration, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Areas of interest include the normal and pathogenic regulation of PTEN, PDK1, PI3K alpha, AKT1, AKT2, CHK1 and the outputs of this signaling cascade.