Nicolas Nassar, PhD
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
I am an Assistant Professor at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. My areas of research interest include drug development and signaling with focus on small GTPases. My research is both basic and translational.
My research efforts encompass several methodologies, including structural biology, biophysical and biochemical studies, cellular functional assays, and ultimately, identifying small molecule compounds that bind to and modulate GTPase signaling in in vivo pre-clinical models of cancer.
RAC GTPases are key regulators of cell growth. By reorganizing the actin cytoskeleton, RAC plays a key role in cancer cell metastasis. It is also involved in mechanisms of resistance to therapies. My lab's goal is to inhibit RAC in leukemia by understanding the molecular mechanisms driving its hyperactivity.
One of my lab’s groundbreaking discoveries is the identification of a small molecule inhibitor of VAV3, a RAC activator. Current research studies the efficacy of VAV3 inhibition in models of relapsed/recurrent leukemia.