PNNL researchers intend to have initial findings for NIH within a year. The second NIH grant will fund research of the epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, family, which is involved in cellular growth and differentiation. This research is expected to aid in understanding what causes tumors to form.
The EGFR family of receptors has four members, and how the members of the receptor family affect each other's signaling properties is not well known. PNNL researchers will generate a computer model for the EGFR family that combines their trafficking and signal transduction properties in an effort to learn about what might be causing abnormal cell growth. As part of the project, wet lab experiments will be performed at PNNL to validate or invalidate the model predictions.
Researchers expect to finish a working version of the computer model this summer. Previous research at PNNL will significantly aid the planned computational work.