Dr. Lange is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota. She holds the Tickle Family Land Grant Endowed Chair of Breast Cancer Research. She received her PhD from the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy in 1991. She holds memberships in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), The Endocrine Society (ES) and Women in Endocrinology (WE). Dr. Lange serves as teaching faculty in the U of MN Department of Pharmacology Graduate Program, the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (MICAB) Graduate Program, the Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development (GCD) Graduate Program, and the MSTP (MD/PhD Combined) Program. She has served on several NIH Study Sections including Biochemical Endocrinology, Metabolic Physiology, Tumor Cell Biology, and Molecular Oncogenesis. She is on the Board of Scientific Advisors to the NIEHS. Dr. Lange is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal of Endocrinology (The Endocrine Society - Oxford Academic Journals)
The Lange Lab is focused on the role of steroid hormone receptors (SRs) in breast and ovarian cancers. Estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptors (PRs) are ligand-activated and context-dependent transcription factors that are essential for development of the breast and reproductive tract. Altered sex hormone levels contribute to cancer risk in these tissues and drive metabolic and cell fate transitions associated with rapid tumor progression. The presence of abnormally activated ERs and imbalanced/activated PR and GR isoforms in hormone-driven tumors can dramatically influence response to endocrine or other therapies. Our overarching research goal is to better understand how SR+ breast cancers and other hormone-influenced cancers of reproductive tissues escape endocrine (i.e. SR-blocking) or other molecular targeted therapies that primarily target signaling pathways that are active in proliferating cancer cells.Ongoing projects encompass the following research themes and their molecular mechanisms:• ER and PR isoform signaling cross talk in luminal breast cancer progression• Ligand-independent actions of p-SRs and p-SR-containing complexes in breast cancer• Altered SR actions in the context of ESR1 mutations or BRCA1/2 loss or mutation• Cellular "stress" sensing by phospho-GR in triple negative breast cancer progression• Fallopian tube transformation and early SR+ serous ovarian cancer progression• Cell fate plasticity (cell cycle exit/entry into G0) and breast cancer stem cell biology• Mechanisms of and biological role of cancer cell dormancy/quiescence and senescence• SR and signaling pathway regulation of breast cancer stem cell populations and biology• Breast cancer metastatic cell dissemination as circulating tumor cell/stem cell clusters.
Research Interest: Solid Tumors
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