Department

Pharmacology

Petra Elizabeth Jans

Graduate Student

Personal Statement:

Program:
IBMS Physiology/Pharmacology

Lab Association:
Susan L. Mooberry, Ph.D.

Hobbies and Interests:
Hiking, Skiing, Choir and a cappella


Research

My current research is focused on understanding the interphase effects of microtubule targeted drugs used in the treatment of cancer. I am particularly interested in the effects of these drugs in triple negative breast cancer, which makes up 15% of all breast cancers, and disproportionately affects young women. This heterogeneous group of breast cancers lacks the estrogen, progesterone and HER-2 receptors and despite recent advances in identifying new molecular targets, prognosis remains poor. We do know, however that many triple negative breast cancer patients will respond well to chemotherapy with a microtubule targeted drug, such as paclitaxel or eribulin, but predictors of response remain elusive. It used to be thought that microtubule targeted agents (MTAs) worked only by inhibiting mitosis, however, there is now overwhelming evidence that the non-mitotic effects of MTAs are what account for their efficacy in patients. Yet, there remains a lot to learn about what these critical non-mitotic pathways are, and how their interruption leads to the anticancer effects of these drugs. My work is specifically aimed at elucidating the effects of MTAs on the production of extracellular vesicles, a mode of intercellular communication that cancer cells take advantage of to drive disease progression.

Awards & Accomplishments

Greehey MD/PhD Endowment Award – 2016-2017

Best Poster Presentation – Faculty Choice – MD/PhD Program Retreat – March 2016

Outstanding Senior Award in Biochemistry – Colorado College – May 2015

William C. Champion Prize in Organic Chemistry – Colorado College – May 2013

Affiliations

American Medical Women’s Association – UTHSCSA Chapter Vice President and Interim President – Jan 2016 thru Jan 2017

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society – May 2015 to Present

Publications

• Books and Publications •

Jans, P.E., Mfuh, A. M., Arman, H. D., Shaffer, C.V., Larionvov, O.V., and Mooberry, S.L. Cytotoxicity and Mechanism of Action of the Marine-Derived Fungal Metabolite Trichodermamide B and Synthetic Analogues J Nat Products. 2017 Mar 24;80(3):676-683. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00963. Epub 2017 Jan 4

Ichire, O., Jans, P., Parfenov, G., and Dounay, A. A safe and selective method for reduction of 2-Nitrophenylacetic acid systems to N-Aryl hydroxamic acids using continuous flow hydrogenation. Tetrahedron Lett. 2017, 58, 582-585.

• Lectures, Posters and Presentations •

Graduate Student Symposium in Pharmacology – UTHSCSA, San Antonio, TX. – October 2016

Jans, P.E., Schaffer, C.V., Mfuh, A.M., Risinger, A.L., Larinov, O.V. and Mooberry, S.L. – Mechanism of action of trichodermamide B and novel analogs with anti-tumor potential (Abstract for Poster Presentation)

Annual MD/PhD Program Retreat – UTHSCSA, San Antonio, TX. – March 2016
Jans, P.E., Schaffer, C.V., Mfuh, A.M., Risinger, A.L., Larinov, O.V. and Mooberry, S.L. – Mechanism of action of trichodermamide B and novel analogs with anti-tumor potential (Abstract for Poster Presentation)

Scientia (University of Chicago Undergraduate Research Journal) – Spring 2015
Jans, P.E. and Fini, M.A. – The role of xanthine oxidoreductase in tumor associated macrophage activation in breast cancer (Abstract for Publication)

Midstates Symposium in Biological Sciences and Psychology – University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. – November 2014
Jans, P.E. and Fini, M.A. – The role of xanthine oxidoreductase in tumor associated macrophage activation in breast cancer (Abstract for Poster Presentation)

Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum – Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO. – April 2014
Jans, P.E., Kim, K.M. and Dounay, A. – Design and synthesis of a novel drug for human African trypanosomiasis – (Abstract for Oral Presentation)