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Po H. Ear, PhD

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

Contact Information

Primary Office
4235 MERF
Iowa City, IA 52242
319-335-8983

Education

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.