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ARCS Alum Explores Tumor-Suppressing Factors in Breast Cancer

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2022

It’s always exciting when we receive news of an ARCS Oregon Scholar defending their dissertation. Daniel Elson, The Gretchen Sturm and Judy Lanfri/Cascadia Scholar from 2017–2020, sent good news of his scheduled November 29 dissertation defense, “The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in cancer: tumor suppressive signaling, and identification of novel therapeutic compounds.”  

Daniel is a researcher in the Siva Kolluri Laboratory in the Environmental and Molecular Toxicology Department at Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The lab investigates receptors that control anti-cancer functions and the mechanisms of therapeutic resistance to cancer. Daniel writes, “I study the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in breast cancer. My thesis work led to the identification of new compounds that can activate AhR and induce cancer cell death. I also identified new interactions between tumor suppressor genes that enable a deeper understanding of cancer cell behavior." 

In June 2022, the prestigious FEBS Letters, a nonprofit journal that publishes significant molecular life science research, published Daniel's first-author paper that identified a unrecognized link between two genes with key roles in tumor suppression.

Studying tumor suppressing genes in breast cancer and understanding cancer cell behavior is this ARCS alum's Oregon current mission.