Dr. Drake is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, a Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator and a Masonic Scholar. He received his B.S. degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato in Biochemistry and Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics in the laboratory of Dr. Michael D. Henry. His postdoctoral training was in the lab of Dr. Owen N. Witte at UCLA. Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota in 2018, Dr. Drake held a faculty position at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in the Department of Medicine.
Research in the Drake Lab focuses on blending basic and translational research approaches to better understand the signaling networks in lethal metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer, and how to more effectively treat patients who are suffering from this disease using rationalized targeted therapies. Previous research from Dr. Drake and others suggest that kinase activation may be a primary mechanism of resistance to current therapies in late stage prostate cancer. Using in vivo primary mouse and human cancer model systems, the Drake Lab investigates what particular kinase signaling pathways are activated that lead to this resistance and how new targeted therapies, such as kinase inhibitors, may perturb these pathways for future clinical utility.In addition, Dr. Drake's lab will also employ phosphoproteomics enrichment technologies coupled to quantitative targeted mass spectrometry to identify the activated kinases and pathways in pre-clinical and clinical tumors for development of predictive biomarkers. The results of this research aim to evaluate single liquid or tissue biopsies from metastatic prostate cancer patients for activated kinase signatures that will lead to targeted therapies in real time.
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