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Saluja Lab

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Investigator / Contact Person Ashok Saluja

Research Focus

Dr. Saluja's group demonstrated that HSP70 is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer cells and that its inhibition leads to apoptotic cell death. Inhibiting HSP70 expression is also very effective at reducing the growth of pancreatic tumors in orthotopic models of pancreatic cancer, where it markedly reduced loco-regional spread (Cancer Res).

- In collaboration with the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Saluja's group successfully developed a small molecule which they named MINNELIDE (Sci Trans Med  2012).

- Minnelide inhibits the tumor cell viability and also affects the tumor microenvironment by depleting the stroma and inactivating the Cancer Associated Fibroblasts (Can Res 2018) .

- Recent research from Dr. Saluja's group on pancreatitis has shown that the main opioid (morphine) that is routinely used for pain management for pancreatitis is actually responsible for worsening the disease (Gut 2017).

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