Catharine L Smith, PhD

I have worked in the areas of molecular endocrinology and cancer biology for 35 years. I received a doctorate in Biochemistry and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute where I studied epigenetic mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by steroid receptors. I continued that work after moving to the University of Arizona in 2006. Since then I focus on the roles of lysine deacetylases in glucorticoid-regulated transcription. Because several lysine deacetylase inhibitors are now approved for clinical use, I began a translational line of research to investigate their mechanism of action in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, the most commonly-diagnosed type of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. 

Cancer Focus

My cancer focus is on mechanism of action of histone/lysine deacetylase inhibitors, five of which have been approved for clinical use. To study this we use a cell-based, preclinical model of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL). Our goal is to use this mechanistic knowledge to achieve rational prediction of therapeutics which could be combined to deacetylase inhibitors for synergistic effect. This will allow more efficient use of these drugs against DLBCL and potentially other blood cancers. In addition, we are using clinical trial samples to identify potential predictive biomarkers of clinical response to deacetylase inhibitors through next generation sequencing methods.

Research Program Role
Cancer Biology Program

Display Name
Catharine L Smith, PhD