Anne E Cress, PhD

Cancer Biology Program, Research Member
Anne E Cress, PhD

Biography

Dr. Cress earned a doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Arizona. She studied the biochemistry of DNA replication at Stanford University in Dr. Robert Lehman’s laboratory; peptide chemistry at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia and developmental biology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She joined the UA faculty rising through the ranks to become a Professor with tenure in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Radiation Oncology. She was one of eleven founding faculty members of the UA Cancer Center and the Cancer Biology Graduate Program. She currently serves as Deputy Dean for Research and Academic Affairs at the UA College of Medicine.

Cancer Focus

My group studies the molecular mechanisms of human epithelial cancer invasion and metastasis. Specifically, we study the regulation of cell surface molecules (called integrins) and their role in cancer cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix. My research team discovered that laminin adhesion structures are dramatically altered in human cancer resulting in invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance. We have developed three approaches to interrupt cell adhesion to laminin: (1) using cyclized peptides, (2) deploying small molecules, and/or (3) using a function-blocking antibody. Currently we are using gene editing technology to identify inactivating mutations of tumor specific invasion and metastasis receptors.