Jason R. Pitarresi graduated with his PhD from the Ohio State University Biochemistry Program in September 2016 and will be joining the lab of Anil K. Rustgi M.D., Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicine and Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rustgi also serves as the Director of the NIH/NIDDKCenter for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases and Program Leader of the Tumor Biology Program at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center.
Jason joined the Ostrowski lab in March of 2011 as part of the Ohio State University Biochemistry Program . Jason is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under support from an NIH NRSA F31 Predoctoral Fellowship where he is investigating the role of cancer associated fibroblasts in pancreatic tumor progression.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers over the last 35 years, with less than 6% of patients surviving 5-years after diagnosis. Over the last ten years it has become apparent that the non-cancerous cells that surround the tumor play a driver role in the fate of the tumor cell. Understanding how these cells interact with adjacent tumor cells will lead to novel therapeutic strategies to prolong survival in this deadly disease.
Jason’s Ph.D. work focuses on analyzing the role of hedgehog signaling in pancreatic cancer associated fibroblasts by conditionally deleting the key signal transducer Smoothened in pancreatic fibroblasts in the context of a Kras-driven genetically engineered mouse tumor model. Upcoming manuscripts will show novel roles for hedgehog signaling in the pancreatic tumorgenesis cascade that will help to re-define the functional crosstalk that occurs between pancreatic tumor cells and their associated fibroblasts.
- Liu X*, Pitarresi JR*, Cuitiño MC, Kladney RD, Woelke SA, Sizemore GM, Nayak SG, Egriboz O, Schweickert PG, Yu L, Trela S, Schilling DJ, Halloran SK, Li M, Dutta S, Fernandez SA, Rosol TJ, Lesinski GB, Shakya R, Ludwig T, Konieczny SF, Leone G, Wu J, Ostrowski MC. “Genetic ablation of Smoothened in pancreatic fibroblasts increases acinar-ductal metaplasia.” Genes & Development. 2016. PMID: 27633013. [*co-first author] (Cover Article).
- Pitarresi JR, Liu X, Sharma SM, Cuitiño MC, Kladney RD, Mace TA, Donohue S, Nayak SG, Qu C, Lee J, Woelke SA, Trela S, LaPak K, Yu L, McElroy J, Rosol TJ, Shakya R, Ludwig T, Lesinski GB, Fernandez SA, Konieczny SF, Leone G, Wu J, Ostrowski MC. “Stromal ETS2 Regulates Chemokine Production and Immune Cell Recruitment during Acinar-to-Ductal Metaplasia.” Neoplasia. 2016. PMID: 27659014.
- Mace TA, Shakya R, Elnaggar O, Wilson K, Komar HM, Yang J, Pitarresi JR, Young GS, Ostrowski MC, Ludwig T, Bekaii-Saab T, Bloomston M, Lesinski GB. “Single agent BMS-911543 Jak2 inhibitor has distinct inhibitory effects on STAT5 signaling in genetically engineered mice with pancreatic cancer.” Oncotarget. 2015. PMID: 26575024
- Wallace JA, Pitarresi JR*, Sharma N, Palettas M, Cuitiño MC, Sizemore ST, Yu Y, Sanderlin A, Rosol TJ, Mehta KD, Sizemore GM, and Ostrowski MC, “Protein Kinase C beta in the tumor microenvironment promotes mammary tumorigenesis.” Frontiers in Oncology. 2014. 23;4:87. PMID: 24795864. [*co-first author]
- Prabhu V, Srivastava P, Yadav N, Amadori M, Schneider A, Seshadri A, Pitarresi J, Scott R, Zhang H, Koochekpour S, Gogada R, Chandra D. “Resveratrol depletes mitochondrial DNA and inhibition of autophagy enhances resveratrol-induced caspase activation.” Mitochondrion. 2013. 5:493–499. PMID: 23088850.
- Gogada R, Amadori M, Zhang H, Jones A, Verone A, Pitarresi J, Jandhyam S, Prabhu V, Black JD, Chandra D. “Curcumin induces Apaf-1-dependent, p21-mediated caspase activation and apoptosis.” Cell Cycle. 2011. 23:4128 – 4137. PMID: 22101335.
- Pitarresi J.R., Wu J., Leone G., Ostrowski M.C. Genetic ablation of Smoothened in tumor-associated fibroblasts promotes pancreatic tumorigenesis. Won best oral presentation award delivered at the annual Ohio State University Molecular Life Sciences Network IGP Symposium. Columbus, OH. May, 2015.
- Pitarresi J.R., Wu J., Liu X., Bravo V., Cuitiño M.C., Kladney R.D., Woelke S., Majumder S., Leone G., Ostrowski M.C. Genetic ablation of Smoothened in tumor-associated fibroblasts promotes pancreatic tumorigenesis. Selected for oral presentation and won AACR Scholar-in-Training award to present at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. Philadelpha, PA. April, 2015.
- Pitarresi J.R., Woelke S., Kladney R., Cuitino M, Yu L, Wu J., and Ostrowski M. (2014). Ets-2 acts as a novel oncogene in cancer associated fibroblasts and promotes pancreatic tumor initiation and development. Won top poster award for poster presentation delivered at American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Specialty Conference on Pancreatic Cancer: Innovations in Research and Treatment. New Orleans, LA. May, 2014.
- Pitarresi J.R., Wu J., and Ostrowski M. (2014). Ets-2 acts as a novel oncogene in cancer associated fibroblasts and promotes pancreatic tumor initiation and development. Won oral presentation award delivered at the annual Ohio State University Molecular Life Sciences Network Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Symposium. Columbus, OH. May, 2014.
- Pitarresi J.R, Wu J., and Ostrowski M. (2014). Ets-2 acts as a novel oncogene in cancer associated fibroblasts and promotes pancreatic tumor initiation and development. Abstract selected for poster presentation at the Ohio State Hayes Graduate Research Forum and received best poster presentation first-runner up award. Columbus, OH. February, 2014.
- Pitarresi, J.R., Wu,J., and Ostrowski, M. (2012). The in vivo role of Ets-2 in pancreatic tumor progression and metastasis. Abstract for poster presentation delivered at the annual Ohio State University Molecular Life Sciences Network Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Symposium. Award given for poster presentation. Columbus, OH. May, 2012.
- Pitarresi, J.R.. and Pogozelski, W. (2010). Development of a Real-time PCR Assay to Quantify Mitochondrial DNA Deletions Relative to a Housekeeping Gene. Abstract for poster presentation delivered at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (ASBMB-FASEB). Award given for poster presentation to travel to annual ASBMB conference. Anaheim,CA. April, 2010.