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Po H. Ear, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
Research Assistant Professor of Surgery - Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery

Contact Information

Primary Office
4235 MERF
Iowa City, IA 52242


BSc, Biochemistry, McGill University
MSc, Biochemistry, Université de Montréal
PhD, Biochemistry, Université de Montréal

Research Summary

Cancer cells are metabolically active and require a high turnover of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and the reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) to repair damaged DNA and sustain anabolic reactions. My research focuses on understanding the impact of NAD+ metabolism in tumor microenvironment, identifying druggable targets in the NAD+ biosynthetic pathways for cancer treatment, and development of patient-derived organoid (PDO) and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of rare cancer such as neuroendocrine tumors (NET). Only 2 human NET cancer cell lines from the pancreas are widely available and 0 small bowel NET cell line has been established in North America. With my successful development of the small bowel NET PDOs from fresh patient tumor samples, we now have a model for precision medicine and can use this for systems biology studies. In addition, I am developing new dynamic assays for studying NET PDO growth and development and their response to anti-cancer drugs. These tools can potentially be applied to other cancer PDO models such as pancreas cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, etc.