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Department of Pharmacology
Dr. Ramakrishnan and colleagues are studying the biology of human ovarian cancer and developing therapeutic strategies for the selective elimination of tumor cells. The laboratory is currently studying molecular mechanisms involved in regulation of M-CSF gene at the transcriptional level.
In a second area, the laboratory is investigating the potential of targeting toxin molecules to tumor cells by linking them to specific monoclonal antibodies. Antibody-toxin conjugates (immunotoxins) selectively inhibit tumor cell growth. Toxin molecules used in these studies are highly effective in irreversibly inactivating eukaryotic ribosomes by the enzymatic removal of an adenine residue (A4324) from 28 S RRNA. Using recombinant DNA methods, structural changes are introduced in the toxin molecules to (1) improve cytotoxicity, (2) increase the half-life of conjugates in circulation, and (3) achieve better tumor localization and penetration.