Ann R. Kennedy, D.Sc.
Professor of Research Oncology
Director, Center of Acute Radiation Research
Biological Effects of Radiation, with emphasis on Carcinogenesis and Cancer Prevention
Description of Research:
The research in this laboratory currently involves studies on the mechanism(s) involved in radiation induced malignant transformation and its modification by various chemical agents both in vitro and in vivo systems. The modifying agents being studied include both promoting and suppressing agents for carcinogenesis, with emphasis on agents modifying free radical reactions and protease inhibitors. Studies on the mechanisms of action of the protease inhibitor suppression of carcinogenesis have focused on the effects of these agents on the expression of specific genes and proteases thought to be involved in the conversion of a cell to the malignant state. Human trials utilizing the soybean-derived protease inhibitor, the Bowman-Birk inhibitor (BBI), as a cancer chemopreventive agent, are ongoing. A new program in Space Radiation Biology has begun, with efforts being made to protect astronauts against the expected biologic effects of radiation encountered during space travel. This program focuses on the ability of selenium to prevent and suppress radiation induced cancer.