Programs and Labs
Work in the area of pain and analgesia focusing on inflammatory psin and cancer pain. Examining mechanisms of chronic pain and mechanisms of acupuncture's effects on pain, inflammattion and cancer growth.
The Dickerson laboratory focuses on mechanisms of drug resistance, identifying drug targets, and new therapeutic approaches. In addition, we are focusing on how metabolic changes affect these processes.
Genetics/molecular biology of cancer - understanding heritable risk traits for common canine tumors Cancer immunology/immunotherapy - understanding mechanisms of immune response to cancer in lab, in clinic, back to lab. Current work specifically studying tumor immunosuppressive barrier Lymphocyte activation - intrinsic negative regulation and its role in maintaining lymphocyte quiescence Cancer pathology/diagnostic medicine - stratification of molecular tumor subtypes that are clinically relevant (prognostic and to guide therapy) Pre-clinical (lab animals and spontaneous tumors of dogs) drug development studies for cancer therapeutics (drugs and biologics). Development of FasL gene-based immunotherapy, ligand targeted toxins, antibodies, genetically modified bacterial vectors, targeted nanoparticles carrying gene therapy, small molecules Nicotine immunotoxicology - role of nicotine in lymphocyte activation and in tumor progression
I am currently running 3 clinical trials in dogs with brain tumors looking at novel therapies that may translate to human medicine. I also am developing a new model of a chronic critical size defect in goat tibias also to be used the large animal model used to test and compare novel bone regenerative therapies for translation into human orthopedic disease. I am also using a swine model to test treatment of traumatic brain injury and a sheep model of osteoporosis to examine the effects of PTH.
Our laboratory studies the pathogenic mechanisms in the deer-origin prion disease, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), including: 1) mechanisms of neuronal pathology, 2) pathways of prion intestinal invasion, and 3) elucidation of the linkage between the accumulation of misfolded prion protein and the clinical symptoms of CWD. Additionally, our laboratory is seeking to refine the diagnosis and characterization of lymphoproliferative disease in the dog.
I perform clinical research focused on developing and optimizing diagnostic testing in companion animal species, primarily dogs and cats. My clinical research focuses on complications of chemo and radiation therapy in laboratory animal models, predominantly effects on heart, blood, and bone. Recently, I am collaborating on some human studies that branch off from the laboratory animal.