Dr. Elizabeth A. Grimm
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology
- Activation of cytotoxic lymphocytes
- Tumor immunology
- Lymphokines and monokines
- Immunotherapy of solid tumors
- Mechanisms of human tumor regression
Dr. Grimm's research interests are divided into two major areas: (1) the fundamental cancer biology related to cytokine expression and inflammation in the maintenance of growth and apoptosis resistance pathways, which are based on her findings of endogenous constitutive nitric oxide in production in the tumor cells of patients with the worst prognoses; and (2) translational studies developing new therapies and validating prognostic markers in human melanoma. Her research in the 1980s at the NCI on human cytokines, particularly IL-2, led directly to its development as an approved agent for melanoma therapy. More recently, in experiments designed to reveal the mechanisms of IL-2 resistance which occurs in the majority of patients, the research in Dr. Grimm's lab has led to a focus on carcinogenic inflammation, which is associated with melanoma expression of various deleterious inflammatory markers, particularly inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Most recently, iNOS is proposed as a marker of poor prognosis as well as a target for therapy, with validation studies underway in her laboratory. Dr. Grimm hypothesizes that the molecular effects of iNOS produced nitric oxide (NO) and NO-driven reactive nitrogen species (RNS) directly modify critical growth and apoptosis proteins, resulting in reversible support inhibition of apoptosis.
Ellerhorst JA, Greene VR, Ekmekcioglu S, Warneke CL, Johnson MM, Cooke CP, Wang LE, Prieto VG, Gershenwald JE, Wei Q, Grimm EA. Clinical Correlates of NRAS and BRAF Mutations in Primary Human Melanoma. Clin Cancer Res 17(2):229-35, 1/2011. e-Pub 10/2010. PMCID: PMC3022950.
Tanese K, Grimm EA, Ekmekcioglu S. The role of melanoma tumor-derived nitric oxide in the tumor inflammatory microenvironment: Its impact on the chemokine expression profile, including suppression of CXCL 10. Int J Cancer. e-Pub 9/2011.
Qin Y, Ekmekcioglu S, Liu P,, Duncan LM, Lizee G, Poindexter N, Grimm EA. Constitutive Aberrant Endogenous Interleukin-1 Facilitates Inflammation and Growth in Human Melanoma. Mol Cancer Res 9(11):1537-1550, 11/2011. e-Pub9/2011.
Chattopadhyay C, Ellerhorst JA, Ekmekcioglu S, Greene VR, Davies MA, Grimm EA. Association of Activated c-Met with NRAS-Mutated Human Melanomas: A Possible Avenue for Targeting. Int J Cancer. e-Pub 10/2011.
Jen EY, Poindexter NJ, Farnsworth ES, Grimm EA. IL-2 regulates the expression of the tumor suppressor IL-24 in melanoma cells. Melanoma Res. 2012 Feb;22(1):19-29.
Program in Cancer Biology
Office: MDA FC11.2048 (Unit 421)
Ph.D. - University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine - 1979