Eric S. Calhoun, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Joined Alma College Faculty in 2008
Office Hours: T/TH 8:30-11:30 or by appointment
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- Ph.D. Tumor Biology, The Mayo Clinic Graduate School (2002)
- B.S. Biology, Truman State University (1997)
- B.S. Chemistry, Truman State University (1997)
Cancer Genetics, Molecular Biology
My current area of research is focused on characterizing the function of genes associated with the development of pancreatic cancer. More specifically, I am interested in genes whose coding sequence has been disrupted by a homozygous deletion as identified from SNP DNA microarray analyses. To gain a better understanding of how (and if) these genes are critical in the development of pancreatic cancer, we have focused our efforts on creating somatic cell gene knockout (KO) model systems for each of our cancer-associated genes. When the endogenous gene within a cell is destroyed during the creation of the KO, the power of this method is revealed. Each line created will have a genetic “twin” with only one difference: a deletion at the site of our gene. Changes in drug resistance, proliferation, apoptosis, cell signaling, gene expression and any other experimentally determined phenotype may be assigned to the disrupted gene and not to other unseen genetic background differences.
Undergraduate students within my laboratory drive my research. My own opportunities as an undergraduate have shown me just how important research internships can be for molding a student’s scientific education. Through the ASPIRE week (for incoming Freshman) and the PRISM (the summer after the freshman year) research internships, we have been able to introduce research to students at even earlier stages in their careers allowing students to gain a deeper understanding of the scientific process. These students often continue their research projects during the academic year and additional summers culminating in an Honor’s Day presentation and/or presentation at a local, regional, or national conference. Many also successfully apply to summer research internships across the nation, giving students a first hand experience of potential graduate or medical institutions in which to apply.
I feel one of the most important responsibilities I have is to provide my students with research experiences that focus on obtaining knowledge with a critical mind. Ultimately, I want my students to learn how to critically analyze, a skill I feel is important regardless of the career path they eventually choose.
- DeNicola GM, Karreth FA, Humpton TJ, Gopinathan A, Wei C, Frese K, Mangal D, Yu KH, Yeo CJ, Calhoun ES, Scrimieri F, Winter JM, Hruban RH, Iacobuzio-Donahue C, Kern SE, Blair IA, Tuveson DA. "Oncogene-induced Nrf2 transcription promotes ROS detoxification and tumorigenesis." Nature. 2011 Jul 6;475(7354):106-9 July 6, 2011.
- Scrimieri F, Calhoun ES, Patel K, Gupta R, Huso DL, Hruban RH, Kern SE. "FAM190A rearrangements provide a multitude of individualized tumor signatures and neo-antigens in cancer.." Oncotarget. 2011 Jan-Feb;2(1-2):69-75 March 2, 2011.
- Jones S, Zhang X, Parsons DW, Lin JC, Leary RJ, Angenendt P, Mankoo P, Carter H, Kamiyama H, Jimeno A, Hong SM, Fu B, Lin MT, Calhoun ES, Kamiyama M, Walter K, Nikolskaya T, Nikolsky Y, Hartigan J, Smith DR, Hidalgo M, Leach SD, Klein AP, Jaffee EM, Goggi. "Core signaling pathways in human pancreatic cancers revealed by global genomic analyses." Science. 2008 Sep 26;321(5897):1801-6 September 4, 2008.
- Gallmeier E, Hucl T, Calhoun ES, Cunningham SC, Bunz F, Brody JR, Kern SE. "Gene-specific selection against experimental fanconi anemia gene inactivation in human cancer." Cancer Biology & Therapy. 2007 May;6(5):654-60
- Calhoun ES, Gallmeier E, Cunningham SC, Eshleman JR, Hruban RH, Kern SE. "Copy-number methods dramatically underestimate loss of heterozygosity in cancer." Genes Chromosomes & Cancer. 2006 Nov;45(11):1070-1
- Wood LD, Calhoun ES, Silliman N, Ptak J, Szabo S, Powell SM, Riggins GJ, Wang TL, Yan H, Gazdar A, Kern SE, Pennacchio L, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Velculescu VE. "Somatic mutations of GUCY2F, EPHA3, and NTRK3 in human cancers." Human Mutation. 2006 Oct;27(10):1060-1
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Selected Chapter Book Publications
- "Molecular Genetics of Pancreatic Cancer." Lowy AM, Leach SD, Philip PA, 27-40. New York, NY: Springer, 2006.
- American Association of Cancer Research
- American Society of Human Genetics