Kathy Q. Cai, MD, PhD

Kathy Q. Cai, MD, PhD

Associate Research Professor

Co-Director, Histopathology Facility

Image 1: AQUA image analysis of p53 on ovarian carcinoma


Education and Training

Educational Background

  • PhD, Fudan University, China, 2002
  • MD, Shanghai Medical University, China, 1994
Research Profile

Research Interests

  • Development and improvement of immunohistochemical (IHC, traditional and fluorescence-based) assays to detect and quantify important components of cell signaling pathways
  • Molecular mechanism of ovarian cancer initiation and development
  • Histopathology evaluation of rodent models of human cancer

Lab Overview

My research interest focuses on developing and improving histopathology-related technologies to support basic and translational research projects involving cell signaling, molecular carcinogenesis and animal modeling.  These approaches include immunohistochemistry, quantitative image analysis using Aperio technology and AQUA (a automatic quantitation platform for immunohistochemistry), laser capture microdissection, and other technologies.  With these cutting-edge technologies, I have been working closely with other investigators, supporting their projects by providing  histopathological evaluations and IHC marker quantifications.

My long-term research interests include understanding the molecular mechanism of ovarian cancer initiation and development. Research projects completed or in progress include quantitative image analysis of biomarkers on ovarian cancer tissue microarrays,  molecular characterization of initiation and progression of ovarian cancer, mouse modeling of ovarian cancer, and studies of early mouse embryonic development.

In my capacity as co-director of the Histopathology Facility, I support Cancer Center members in interpreting results from tissues derived from animal models of human cancer. The rodent models in which I work or have worked include ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, kidney cancer and polycystic disease, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer and lymphoma.


Selected Publications

Kukuyan A.M., Sementino E., Kadariya Y., Menges C.W., Cheung M., Tan Y., Cai K.Q., Slifker M.J., Peri S., Klein-Szanto A.J., Rauscher F.J., 3rd, Testa J.R., Inactivation of bap1 cooperates with losses of nf2 and cdkn2a to drive the development of pleural malignant mesothelioma in conditional mouse models. Cancer Res. 79(16): 4113-4123, 2019 .PMC6697648. 8.378

Tang B., Lee H.O., An S.S., Cai K.Q., Kruger W.D., Specific targeting of mtap-deleted tumors with a combination of 2'-fluoroadenine and 5'-methylthioadenosine. Cancer Res. 78(15): 4386-4395, 2018. PMC6072572. 8.378

Beatty A, Fink LS, Singh T, Strigun A, Peter E, Ferrer CM, Nicolas E, Cai KQ, Moran TP, Reginato MJ, Rennefahrt U, Peterson JR. Metabolite profiling reveals the glutathione biosynthetic pathway as a therapeutic target in triple negative breast cancer. Molecular cancer therapeutics, 17(1):264-75, 2018. PubMed

Gabbasov R, Xiao F, Howe CG, Bickel LE, O'Brien SW, Benrubi D, Do TV, Zhou Y, Nicolas E, Cai KQ, Litwin S, Seo S, Golemis EA, Connolly DC. NEDD9 promotes oncogenic signaling, a stem/mesenchymal gene signature, and aggressive ovarian cancer growth in mice. Oncogene, 2018. PubMed

Ingram JP, Tursi S, Zhang T, Guo W, Yin C, M AW-D, van der Heijden J, Cai KQ, Yamamoto M, Finlay BB, Brodsky IE, Grivennikov SI, Tukel C, Balachandran S. A Nonpyroptotic IFN-gamma-Triggered Cell Death Mechanism in Nonphagocytic Cells Promotes Salmonella Clearance In Vivo. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md : 1950), 200(10):3626-34, 2018. PubMed

Sementino E, Menges CW, Kadariya Y, Peri S, Xu J, Liu Z, Wilkes RG, Cai KQ, Rauscher FJ, 3rd, Klein-Szanto AJ, Testa JR. Inactivation of Tp53 and Pten drives rapid development of pleural and peritoneal malignant mesotheliomas. Journal of cellular physiology, 2018. PubMed

Wagner J, Kline CL, Zhou LL, Campbell KS, MacFarlane AW, Olszanski AJ, Cai KQ, Hensley HH, Ross EA, Ralff MD, Zloza A, Chesson CB, Newman JH, Kaufman H, Bertino J, Stein M, El-Deiry WS. Dose intensification of TRAIL-inducing ONC201 inhibits metastasis and promotes intratumoral NK cell recruitment. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 128(6):2325-38, 2018.  PubMed

Prudnikova TY, Villamar-Cruz O, Rawat SJ, Cai KQ, Chernoff J. Effects of p21-activated kinase 1 inhibition on 11q13-amplified ovarian cancer cells. Oncogene. 2015 Aug 10. PMID:26257058 PubMed

Cai KQ, Wang Y, Smith ER, Smedberg JL, Yang DH, Yang WL, Xu XX. Global deletion of Trp53 reverts ovarian tumor phenotype of the germ cell-deficient white spotting variant (wv) mice. Neoplasia. 2015 Jan;17(1):89-100. PMCID:PMC4309726 PubMed

Lee, S.-Y., Coffey, F., Fahl, S.P., Peri, S., Rhodes, M., Cai, K.Q., Carleton, M., Hedrick, S.M., Fehling, H.J., Zúñiga-Pflücker, J.C., Kappes, D.J., and Wiest, D.L. Non-canonical mode of ERK action controls alternative αβ and γδ T lineage fates. Immunity. 2014 Dec 18;41(6):934-46. PMCID:PMC4273651 PubMed

Nikonova AS, Plotnikova OV, Serzhanova V, Efimov A, Bogush I, Cai KQ, Hensley HH, Egleston BL, Klein-Szanto A, Seeger-Nukpezah T, Golemis EA. Nedd9 restrains renal cystogenesis in Pkd1-/- mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Sep 2;111(35):12859-64. PMID:25139996 PubMed

Xu J, Kadariya Y, Cheung M, Pei J, Talarchek J, Sementino E, Tan Y, Menges CW, Cai KQ, Litwin S, Peng H, Karar J, Rauscher FJ, Testa JR. Germline mutation of bap1 accelerates development of asbestos-induced malignant mesothelioma. Cancer Res. 2014 Aug 15;74(16):4388-97. PMID: 24928783 PubMed

Mehra R, Zhu F, Yang DH, Cai KQ, Weaver J, Singh MK, Nikonova AS, Golemis EA, Flieder DB, Cooper HS, Lango M, Ridge JA, Burtness B. Quantification of excision repair cross-complementing group 1 and survival in p16-negative squamous cell head and neck cancers. Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Dec 1;19(23):6633-43. PMID:24088734 PubMed

Seeger-Nukpezah T, Proia DA, Egleston BL, Nikonova AS, Kent T, Cai KQ, Hensley HH, Ying W, Chimmanamada D, Serebriiskii IG, Golemis EA. Inhibiting the HSP90 chaperone slows cyst growth in a mouse model of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 30;110(31):12786-91. PMID:23858461 PubMed

Sukhanova, A., Gorin, A., Serebriiskii, I.G., Gabitova, L., Zheng, H., Restifo, D., Egleston, B.L., Cunningham, D., Bagnyukova, T., Liu, H., Nikonova, A., Adams, G.P., Zhou, Y., Yang, D.H., Mehra, R., Burtness, B., Cai, K.Q., Klein-Szanto, A., Kratz, L.E., Kelley, R.I., Weiner, L.M., Herman, G.E., Golemis, E.A., Astsaturov, I.A.  Targeting C4-demethylating genes in the cholesterol pathway sensitizes cancer cells to EGFR inhibitors via increased EGFR degradation.  Cancer Discov. 3:96-111, 2013.  PMCID: PMC3546138 PubMed... Expand

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