Meet Our 6th Cancer Researcher!

Jarrett R. Remsberg, PhD was born and raised in Maryland, moving on to receive a Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Chemical-Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011. During his undergraduate education, he also interned at the National Cancer Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Nadya Tarasova - kick-starting his interest in cancer research. Dr. Remsberg went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics in the laboratory of Dr. Mitchell A. Lazar where he studied the role of histone deacetylase 3 in metabolic tissues.

Dr. Remsberg garnered significant interest in mass spectrometry techniques during his PhD and knew he wanted to focus on cancer research for postdoctoral studies. Looking westward, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Benjamin F. Cravatt at the Scripps Research Institute - a pioneer in chemical proteomic activity-based protein profiling.

Dr. Remsberg's work focuses on uncovering novel ways that small-molecules can disrupt oncogenic networks in cancer. The ability to identify new drug targets for specific types of cancer and subsequently develop therapies based on those targets remains a major challenge to treating and curing cancer. The aim of Dr. Remsberg's research is to apply a first-of-its-kind chemical library that easily enables target identification of hits from phenotypic screening efforts. Specifically, Dr. Remsberg is investigating a cellular signaling pathway (KEAP1-NRF2) that is mutated in 20% of lung cancers. One of the greatest utilities of this platform is its ability to discover potential drugs to the "undruggable" - chemical space in the cancer proteome that has not been penetrated by small molecules to date and where cancer's weakness may be exploited. Dr. Remsberg is especially excited for the prospect of extending this chemical library to a wider variety of genetically defined cancers. While significant gains have been made in understanding the transcriptional alterations of cancers, less has been accomplished in terms of defining their pharmacologically tractable vulnerabilities.

Dr. Remsberg's goal in his research project, entitled, Chemical proteomic strategy to identify druggable vulnerabilities in cancer, is to generate chemical tools and biological insights from this platform that may, in the future, lead to valuable therapeutic interventions for cancer patients.