Heinrich - Heine - University, Duesseldorf, Germany, 2001
Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA
Lankenau Hospital, Wynnewood, PA
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
The Schieke lab studies molecular mechanisms and pathways regulating the functional diversity of cells in tumors and normal tissues. Our research focus areas are phenotypic and functional heterogeneity, metabolic requirements of cell proliferation, and mitochondrial signaling. Understanding the functionally diverse cell states and their impact on disease development and progression will ultimately help to define novel drug targets and molecular therapeutics.
Clinical Practice and Research Interests
Dr. Schieke’s clinical practice and research interest are focused on T-cell and B-cell lymphomas of the skin. His laboratory focuses on molecular mechanisms and pathways regulating disease development, progression, and relapse in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). The research is centered on defining functional heterogeneity and metabolic regulation and signaling in lymphoma cells. Functional heterogeneity among tumor cells has been identified as a major therapeutic obstacle in cancer. Slow-cycling, tumor-propagating cells are thought to represent a subpopulation of treatment-resistant cells that act in a stem cell-like manner as a reservoir for tumor maintenance and relapse. Recent work from the Schieke lab demonstrated a slow-cycling, treatment-resistant and highly tumorigenic subpopulation in CTCL cell lines. Characterizing the molecular features including the specific metabolic phenotype of neoplastic T-cell subpopulations may provide important insights into disease progression and relapse after treatment as well as help to define novel treatment targets for neoplastic T-cell disease. Moreover, the lab could show that neoplastic T-cells display a high degree of metabolic plasticity not seen in normal T-cells which allows adaptation and survival of those cells under conditions of bioenergetic stress. Current work studies the underlying mitochondrial signaling response which mediates resistance of lymphoma cells in situations of energetic and mitochondrial stress. The overarching goal of these projects is to identify new strategies to more effectively target treatment-resistant subpopulations in cutaneous lymphoma.