Patrick Apopa, PhD, joined the Department of Epidemiology on March 9 as a Research Associate in the laboratory of Associate Professor Mohammed Orloff, PhD. He will work on identifying and characterizing genomic variants in the population of Arkansas to aid mapping of cancer-related genes; his main focus will be on breast and lung cancers. The hope is that this research will make it possible to develop biomarkers for the purpose of early cancer detection and personalized care.
This research will be done by taking advantage of samples obtained from UAMS cancer patients using non-invasive sampling methods and/or from archival samples. Prevalence of these cancers has been shown to vary significantly by population, ethnic background and/or geographical region. Hence, this research is geared towards helping understand the development and diagnosis of the different cancer clinical subtypes that are associated with different genetic variants and/or backgrounds.
Dr. Apopa received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from West Virginia University in Morgantown and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, CDC/NIOSH, also located in Morgantown. He completed a second postdoctoral fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Penn. He previously worked on small molecule inhibitors of human platelet-type 12-lipoxygenase and their effects on platelets activity and has also worked with nanoparticles, looking at their effect on cellular oxidative stress and cytoskeletal dynamics.