At UCLA Health, our faculty are committed to reducing the burden of colon cancer morbidity and mortality through basic science, clinical, translational and health services research. Read about our investigators and their research in colorectal cancer.
Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil Dr. May
and her lab conduct studies that aim to improve uptake of colorectal cancer screening in average-risk adults. Her team also focuses on increasing access to colorectal cancer screening in underserved and minority populations and on improving follow-up care for patients that have abnormal screening results. Studies in these areas encompass both health disparities research and health systems quality improvement research, but go beyond to include health policy advocacy and education.
Harry Pothoulakis, MDDr. Pothoulakis
and his lab are studying the interactions between neuropeptide and microRNA in colitis and cancer. This project focuses on the neuropeptides substance P and neurotensin and their effects on colon cancer susceptibility in chemical carcinogenesis and orthotopic xengraft mouse models. Recent findings indicate that pharmacologic or genetic disruption of either the Substance P or neurotensin pathways reduce colon cancer development at early stages.
Enrique Rozengurt, DVM, PhD Dr. Rozengurt
and his lab are studying signal transduction pathways that lead to proliferation in normal and cancer cells. The research activities promote the identification of extracellular factors and intracellular signal transduction pathways that stimulate cells to divide. One of Dr. Rozengurt’s research projects focuses on calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) signaling in regulating colonic epithelial cells to understand the role CaSR signaling plays in the development of colon cancer.
Jonathan P. Jacobs, MD, PhD Dr. Jacobs
and his lab study the impact of the microbiome on health and health states. Current studies include microbiome analyses of patients with gastrointestinal, lung, and head/neck malignancy before and after immunotherapy in collaboration with investigators at UCLA, USC, and UCSD. These studies involve prospective collection of stool samples and tissue specimens for microbiome analysis.
John Mafi, MD, MPHDr. Mafi
is a primary investigator in the UCLA Value Based Care Consortium
. His research focuses on reducing low-value care at UCLA Health and across other academic institutions. Of the $3 trillion spent annually on healthcare in the United States, 10% to 30% is spent on low-value care or patient care with no net benefit to patients in specific clinical scenarios. Dr. Mafi and colleagues are currently evaluating overuse in several areas, including colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening.