UTMB Department of Surgery Surgery Training Grant Investigators & Their Research Interests Investigators Surgery Investigators Mark Hellmich, PhD × Mark Hellmich, PhD Project: Pancreatic Cancer Translational Relevance: This project involves the downregulation of tumor suppressor genes in the metastatic spread of pancreatic cancer. Orthotopic and metastatic animal models of pancreatic cancer will be used. Project: Molecular mechanisms of inflammation-induced pancreatic cancer Translational Relevance: Pancreatitis is an inflammatory process that has been implicated in the etiology of pancreatic cancer. This project involves the study of peptide hormone receptor-mediated pathways become dysregulated during acute pancreatitis and contribute to pancreatic cancer development. Project: Role of hydrogen sulfide in colon cancer progression Translational Relevance: The development of novel therapeutics in the treatment of colon cancer by modulation hydrogen sulfide levels. Celia Chao, MD × Celia Chao, MD Project: Cancer Associated Fibroblasts in Colorectal and Pancreatic Cancer Translational Relevance: This study focuses on the pro-tumorigenic functions of fibroblasts isolated from primary colon and pancreatic tumors. Project: Colon Cancer Stem Cells Translational Relevance: This study focuses on key paracrine signaling pathways that drive colorectal stem cell growth and progression.